New Delhi: Reliance Aerostructure Ltd (RAL), an arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure, has received the government’s approval to build an aerospace park near Nagpur, says a report in The Economic Times.

The report cites Rajesh Dhingra, chief executive officer of Reliance Defence, an arm of Reliance Infrastructure, confirming the news, as the company plans to start construction in August. “We can hope to complete it in the first quarter of 2018," Dhingra was quoted as saying.

In the first phase, the project will build a manufacturing unit for the production of aircraft, electronic warfare system, radar, unmanned aerial vehicles, maintenance and repair and overhaul of commercial aircraft, and complete ecosystem, including ancillary unit and suppliers to support this large project, added the report.

The park is spread over 289 acres in a place called Mihan, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at the outskirts of Nagpur. The project is set to become the largest greenfield aerospace park in the country, which will create thousands of jobs.

As per a report in The Hindu Business Line, the project will immediately create 700 highly skilled direct jobs and 2,800 indirect jobs. Giving a boost to ‘Make In India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives of the government, the project will eventually generate more than 10,000 jobs, added the report.

The project involves a joint venture of France’s Dassault Aviation (DA) and Thales, in which Reliance will have 51% stake. RAL had entered a JV with DA in February 2017. The newspaper added, this will bring in the first tranche of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, with the French aircraft manufacturer amounting to Rs200 crore by August end. The Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) will be the nodal agency for developing the aerospace park.

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

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