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Mahindra's small turboprop aircraft unit at adibhatla Aero SEZ

Mahindra & Mahindra is expected to pick Hyderabad as the location for its special economic zone (SEZ) dedicated to aerospace, after having zeroed in on Bangalore earlier.

Though finer details such as the total cost of the project and the schedules are still not known, the facility is expected to start with an investment of about Rs300 crore.

The Mahindra group recently completed the acquisition of two Australian companies - Gippsland Aeronautics, a manufacturer of small aircraft, and Aerostaff, an aircraft component manufacturer. It is now working on a strategy to emerge as a significant player in small turboprop aircraft.

Sources said the SEZ would be a part of the same strategy though it is not clear if the group would manufacture aircraft in the facility. It is also expected to help the group foray into related markets using the offset opportunities.

Meanwhile, aviation related activities in Hyderabad are expected to move to the next level with Sikorsky's first helicopter cabin getting ready for export on November 23 from the existing aerospace SEZ at Adibhatla on the city outskirts.

Two more Sikorsky 92 cabins are expected to get delivered by the year-end.

The Tata Advanced Systems facility manufacturing Sikorsky cabins is expected to finalise its investment and manufacturing plans by the time Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Sons, visits Hyderabad later this month.

Tata is expected to divulge his aerospace investment plans to chief minister K Rosaiah during his visit. Source: DNA 1/11/10