Separate corridor likely for helicopter operations

The government is considering forming a dedicated group to recommend measures for safe helicopter operations in the country which has witnessed major accidents claiming several lives including that of two chief ministers.

Last Updated: Jul 08, 2011, 21:32 PM IST

New Delhi: The government is considering
forming a dedicated group to recommend measures for safe
helicopter operations in the country which has witnessed major
accidents claiming several lives including that of two chief
ministers.
The civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of
Civil Aviation (DGCA), held a meeting with the helicopter
operators and the manufacturers today in which they supported
formation of a separate corridor for helicopter operations.

The operators like Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited,
expressed concerns over lack of adequate technical manpower in
the DGCA to look into the regulatory issues related to chopper
operations in the country.

They also questioned the government on how the DGCA was
issuing licences for helicopter operations when it doesn`t
have sufficient number of trained people to look after it,
sources associated with the development said.

The operators asked the government to recruit more number
of qualified people, as the number of helicopters in the
country was growing.

The country has witnessed some of the major helicopter
crashes in the past few years.

In 2009, the Bell helicopter of Andhra Pradesh Chief
Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy crashed in the Nallamala Hills,
in April this year, an MI-172 chopper of Pawan Hans Limited
crashed in Tawang, killing 17 people onboard. In May,
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu died in a
helicopter crash soon after it took off from Tawang to
Itanagar.
During the meeting, it was decided to establish a heliport
at Mahalaxmi Race Course in the heart of Mumbai like the one
which is being built in Rohini area of New Delhi. Delhi would
soon have a heliport but it would be very far from the heart
of the city.

The issue to some helipads operating without proper
certification and of equipments in Garhwal Himalayas and in
desert area, were also raised.

The group, on which a formal decision is yet to be taken,
would also advise the Ministry of Civil Aviation on the issue.

PTI