The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has temporarily suspended helicopter service in Uttarakhand.
The direction comes after two incidents of helicopter crash in two consecutive days. Both the helicopters were parts of relief operations in the flood-hit state.
“Current operations will remain suspended till the time Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Department Authority (UCADA), State Disaster Relief Authority (SDRA), and operators make a standard operation procedure for such operations,” said an order issued by DGCA Arun Kumar. The order was reviewed by Business Standard.
However, if required, the permission may be granted at the request of the state government, along with technical assistance by the DGCA. On Wednesday, (August 21) a chopper of Heritage Aviation hit apple cart cables immediately after taking off, killing three people including the pilot and engineer.
Two days later, a chopper of Aryan Aviation also hit an apple cart cable and crashed. However, there was no loss of human life in this incident.
The aviation regulator has also asked state authorities to form a database of terrain maps that includes proper identification of obstacles such as cable,wire, electric pole, and pylon, etc.
"The database should be maintained by the state disaster relief authorities, and be provided to operators who want to provide service in the state," Kumar said in the order.
Over the last few weeks, Uttarakhand has seen floods and multiple landslides in the state, on account of excessive rainfall that prompted helicopters to be pressed into service.