Thursday, June 1, 2017

Permanent helipads soon for safe VIP movement


PUNE: The state government is keen to build permanent helipads in every district to make short distance sorties of VIPs safe.

Chief secretary Sumit Mullick told that all the temporary helipads were under review and the state would contemplate on having permanent helipads in all the districts near the headquarters. "We shall be reviewing all the existing helipads and eventually go for permanent helipads smoother operation," he said. A notification in this regard would be issued soon.

The chief minister's chopper accident at Latur recently made it imperative for the state government to push for permanent helipads across the state. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also called for better infrastructure for helipads in its report after the incident. With VIP movement increasing, the DGCA has put the onus on the government for providing proper logistic support. The state civil aviation department has charted out the locations for three permanent helipads to ease VIP movement in the state.

The DGCA stated that the helipads were usually made overnight and the government should invest in proper infrastructure. Director, civil aviation, Captain Sanjay Karve said last year a decision was taken to have permanent helipads in the state. This year, it is getting a push, especially in areas with high air traffic.

"We have temporary helipads at 10 to 12 locations. Of them, some are on police parade grounds. Our first aim is to shift these helipads to areas in the district headquarters to make it easy for air traffic movement," said Karve, adding that nearly 95% of chopper movements were VIP movement.


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