New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA will
conduct audit of safety measures at heliports, particularly
those situated in remote areas, in the wake of the chopper
crash in Tawang that claimed 17 lives.
"We are thinking of conducting an audit of readiness of
safety measures at heliports, basically those situated in
remote areas...In Tawang, the first fire-tender reached the
spot after quite a long time," Director General of Civil
Aviation EK Bharat Bhushan told reporters here on Friday on the
sidelines of a function of Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited.
A helicopter, carrying 23 people, crashed in Arunachal
Pradesh`s Tawang area on Tuesday after it caught fire just
before it was to land at the helipad located at an altitude of
11,000 feet, bordering China`s Tibet region.
The first fire-tender reached the spot after 45 minutes,
which, officials feel led to heightened casualties.
Bhusan said the Voice Data Recorder of the ill-fated
chopper has been recovered and sent to Mumbai for decoding.
Rejected Arunachal Pradesh government`s claims that PHHL
was responsible for the crash as their helicopters were not
airworthy and not maintained as per the DGCA guidelines, he
said, "The 14-year-old helicopter that crashed in Tawang had
the `Certificate of Airworthiness` valid till this year-end.
There was nothing wrong with the helicopter."
Alleging negligence by the Pawan Hans authority, the
state government had written to the Union Ministry of Civil
Aviation demanding an inquiry on maintenance and mandatory
inspections as per DGCA guidelines.
Meanwhile, PHHL DGM (Marketing) Sanjay Kumar said, "All
our helicopters are fully airworthy, fully certified by the
regulatory authority, that is the DGCA. All our pilots are
also well experienced and well qualified."
PHHL operates five helicopters across Arunachal Pradesh,
Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and daily Guwahati-
Tawang services for the past nine years.