Dedicated corridors & hubs: Scindia announces new helicopter policy

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia Friday announced a new helicopter policy under which dedicated hubs and corridors would be established and landing charges and parking deposits abolished to boost commercial operations.

"Today, I want to announce a new helicopter policy for the whole country. We have ten steps that are going to be part of this policy," Mr. Scindia stated during his speech at the 3rd Helicopter Summit organised by industry body FICCI in Dehradun.

Under the new policy, the government is going to put together a dedicated helicopter-acceleration cell in the Civil Aviation Ministry that will look at helicopter industry’s issues, the minister mentioned.

"It is going to be a resource that you can use to facilitate your growth," he added.

The minister stated that according to the new policy, there will be no landing charges or parking deposits for heliports or helicopter companies from now onward.

Officers of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Air Traffic Control (ATC) will engage with the helicopter industry stakeholders so that adequate training is given to all individuals regarding helicopter issues, the minister noted.

Under the new policy, an advisory group has been set up in the Civil Aviation Ministry to discuss any pain points of the industry, he mentioned.

Heli-Disha, a booklet that was released on Friday in Dehradun, would be given to every collector of every district of the country, he said.

The booklet contained all regulations and issues related to helicopter size, weight, operations, etc, and it would be distributed so that awareness about them is created in the district administrations across the country, he added.

As per the new policy, a centralised Heli-Seva portal will be upgraded to a level so that all permissions for a helicopter flight could be granted online, the minister mentioned.

He said the government is going to make four Heli-hubs to start with – one at Juhu in Mumbai, second in Guwahati, third in Delhi and fourth at HAL airport in Bengaluru.

The minister said 10 cities and 82 routes have been identified to develop helicopter corridors.

"As a beginning, we are going to start with three dedicated corridors for helicopters – Juhu-Pune-Juhu, Mahalakshmi race course-Pune-Mahalakshmi race course and Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar," Mr. Scindia noted.

He said the government has chosen three expressways – Delhi-Bombay expressway, Ambala-Kotputli expressway and Amrisar-Bhatinda-Jamnagar expressway – where the heliports would be set up along the expressway so that evacuation of accident victims can be done immediately.

In the health sector, it is said that the first seven minutes are the golden minutes when we have to evacuate victims of a road accident, he added.

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