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Separate corridors for choppers in Mumbai, Delhi

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Delhi and Mumbai airports will soon have dedicated air corridors for operating helicopters in the congested airspace of these airports.

“Separate air corridors in Mumbai and Delhi airports were notified last week,” Director General Civil Aviation SNA Zaidi said at a conference organised by Rotary Wing Society of India.

“We will soon get them operationalised through the AAI’s (Airports Authority of India’s) air traffic management set-up.”

These corridors, where no fixed wing aircraft would be allowed to fly, would not only ensure safety but also enhance capacity and efficiency of helicopter operations. Mumbai and Delhi have the highest density of chopper operations.

The civil helicopter industry has long been demanding segregation of helicopter and aircraft traffic to deal with congestion.

Earlier speaking at the conference, AAI Chairman VP Agarwal said the authority might abolish the helicopters charges. “Since our income from helicopters is very less, we can abolish the charges.”

Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath supported the suggestion from Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd Chairman RK Tyagi to have helipads along national highways, particularly in accident-prone ones. “I liked the idea of having helipads alongside highways,” Nath said. The AAI chairman also supported the idea of helipads on national highways.

Tyagi made several recommendations to enhance the role of helicopters in India, saying they could be used for services ranging from emergency medical services, search and rescue and disaster management to maintenance of law and order.

He also floated the idea of having one helipad each in all 618 districts of the country, with at least one chopper under the district magistrate’s command for maintaining law and order or meeting any other exigency.

First Published: Sun, February 14 2010. 00:01 IST