ROHINI, IN­DIA’S FIRST HELIPORT

It is the first in­te­grated heliport which is ex­pected to fur­ther boost the plans of the govern­ment to in­crease re­mote and re­gional air con­nec­tiv­ity

SP's Airbuz - - Table Of Contents - BY R. CHAN­DRAKANTH

It is the first in­te­grated heliport which is ex­pected to fur­ther boost the plans of the govern­ment to in­crease re­mote and re­gional air con­nec­tiv­ity.

HE­LI­COPTERS HAVE BEEN AROUND in In­dia for a long time, but they have al­ways grown in the shad­ows of other types of air­craft, be it a com­mer­cial air­liner or a pri­vate air­craft. In fact, the growth has been woe­fully poor com­pared to the po­ten­tial it has. One of the ma­jor hin­drances in their growth has been the lack of proper in­fra­struc­ture for the ro­tary-wing seg­ment. While the heli­copter can land and take-off from a small piece of land or from a large rooftop adding to its ver­sa­til­ity, for reg­u­lar op­er­a­tions, it re­quires proper in­fra­struc­ture for the seg­ment to grow in an or­gan­ised man­ner. One of the key es­sen­tials for the growth of the heli­copter seg­ment is the ex­is­tence of he­li­ports and that con­cept never ex­isted in In­dia, till re­cently. A heliport is by def­i­ni­tion an area of land, wa­ter or struc­ture used or in­tended to be used for the land­ing and take-off of he­li­copters and in­cludes its build­ings and other fa­cil­i­ties. In other words, it is a small air­port suit­able for use by he­li­copters and some other ver­ti­cal-lift plat­forms. Des­ig­nated he­li­ports typ­i­cally con­tain one or more touch­down and lift-off ar­eas and may also have lim­ited fa­cil­i­ties such as for stor­age of fuel, re­fu­elling of he­li­copters and hangars for main­te­nance. In some larger towns and ci­ties, cus­toms clear­ance fa­cil­i­ties may also be avail­able. FEA­TURES OF THE ROHINI HELIPORT. This was woe­fully miss­ing from the In­dian avi­a­tion scene. How­ever, on Fe­bru­ary 28, 2017, In­dia fi­nally got its first heliport at Rohini in New Delhi. The Rohini Heliport was for­mally in­au­gu­rated by the Min­is­ter of

Civil Avi­a­tion (MoCA), P. Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju. The heliport has pro­vi­sions for op­er­a­tional fa­cil­i­ties and main­te­nance, re­pair and over­haul (MRO) as well. The heliport has the fol­low­ing fa­cil­i­ties: Cen­trally air-con­di­tioned pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nal build­ing with the ca­pac­ity to han­dle 150 pas­sen­gers. Four hangars of 3,600 sq m area (each hanger with 900 sq m). Park­ing ca­pac­ity for 12 he­li­copters. Re­fu­elling fa­cil­ity. Fire ser­vices. The Rohini Heliport can be used for 25 op­er­a­tions so far by var­i­ous op­er­a­tors. It is the first in­te­grated heliport which is ex­pected to fur­ther boost the plans of the govern­ment to in­crease re­mote and re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity through air.

Inau­gu­rat­ing the heliport, Ga­jap­athi Raju said that the heliport was an ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture but pointed out that heli­copter ser­vices in In­dia are still at a nascent stage. The fa­cil­ity will keep the cost un­der con­trol as MRO fa­cil­ity has been in­cor­po­rated. This would also help in job cre­ation.

Raju also said that his Min­istry has made a re­quest to the Lt Gov­er­nor of Delhi as well as the Delhi Govern­ment for pro­vid­ing Pawan Hans Lim­ited., the ad­ja­cent two hectares of land for set­ting up heli­copter pilots and an AME train­ing cen­tre to meet the grow­ing de­mand for such pro­fes­sion­als.

The Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion, Jayant Sinha, said that the avi­a­tion sec­tor is mak­ing his­tory al­most ev­ery day and that the heliport is one such event. He said that the fa­cil­ity will be use­ful in pro­vid­ing med­i­cal emer­gency ser­vices, public safety and en­hanc­ing tourism. Sinha said that heli­copter ser­vices could be­come eco­nom­i­cally vi­able if the pre­vail­ing 25 per cent tax on avi­a­tion tur­bine fuel was re­duced.

FOUR HE­LI­PORTS ACROSS THE COUN­TRY. The Sec­re­tary for Civil Avi­a­tion, R.N. Choubey, said that it is part of the Na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Pol­icy (NCAP) to have four he­li­ports, one in each re­gion and Rohini is the first step. He also said that heli­copter op­er­a­tions could be shifted from the Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port (IGIA) to Rohini. The heliport was com­pleted in al­most two years time at a cost of nearly 100 crore. This heliport will pro­vide all heli­copter op­er­a­tional fa­cil­i­ties and will de­con­gest the busy IGIA and also pro­mote re­gional air con­nec­tiv­ity through he­li­copters in the north­ern part of the coun­try for reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger ser­vices, heli-ser­vices, land­ing and park­ing of he­li­copters, MRO ser­vices for he­li­copters, dis­as­ter man­age­ment, Heli­copter Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices (HEMS), law and or­der sur­veil­lance.

PAWAN HANS — THE KEY TO DE­VEL­OP­MENT. Pawan Hans has also pre­pared a road map to con­nect all the ma­jor des­ti­na­tions from this heliport such as to Shimla, Harid­war, Dehradun, Mathura, Agra, Meerut and in­dus­trial hubs such as Mane­sar and Ba­hadur­garh. They will pro­vide air con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween Delhi and neigh­bour­ing ci­ties from the heliport. With the heliport com­menc­ing op­er­a­tions, re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity will be­come eas­ier from the cap­i­tal to neigh­bour­ing ar­eas.

Pawan Hans had suc­cess­fully car­ried out trial sor­ties from the heliport in Fe­bru­ary last year and had planned to go for full-scale heli­copter op­er­a­tions from May. The com­mence­ment of ser­vices from here is also ex­pected to re­duce con­ges­tion at the Delhi air­port, which cur­rently han­dles about 50 heli­copter ar­rivals and de­par­tures on an av­er­age per day be­sides the large-scale fixed­wing op­er­a­tions, the Chair­man and Manag­ing Direc­tor of Pawan Hans B.P. Sharma said.

Pawan Hans is work­ing on its busi­ness di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and has de­vised a Strate­gic Plan 2020 ac­cord­ing to which com­pany will be di­ver­si­fy­ing into small fixed-wing and sea­plane op­er­a­tions, MRO and de­vel­op­ment of he­li­pads and he­li­ports. It is work­ing to de­velop four ‘ heli-hubs’ in line with the con­cept of ‘air­port-hubs.’ These he­li­hubs will be a one-point so­lu­tion for the heli­copter busi­ness and

HE­LI­COPTERS PLAY A KEY ROLE IN RE­MOTE AREA CON­NEC­TIV­ITY, IN­TRA-CITY MOVE­MENT, TOURISM, LAW EN­FORCE­MENT, DIS­AS­TER RE­LIEF, SEARCH AND RES­CUE AND EMER­GENCY MED­I­CAL EVAC­U­A­TION

will act as a heliport for public pas­sen­ger ser­vices, MRO fa­cil­ity for heli­copter main­te­nance and also as a skill de­vel­op­ment cen­tre for train­ing of pilots, air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians.

FO­CUS ON RE­GIONAL CON­NEC­TIV­ITY. In the NCAP, there is pro­vi­sion to de­velop four heli-hubs in the North­ern, South­ern, Western and Eastern re­gions and Rohini is the first off the block. The MoCA has launched a Re­gional Con­nec­tiv­ity Scheme un­der NCAP which in­ter-alia per­mits heli­copter op­er­a­tion only among the states of Jammu and Kash­mir, Hi­machal Pradesh, Ut­tarak­hand, North-eastern re­gion of In­dia, An­daman and Ni­co­bar Is­lands and Lak­shad­weep Is­lands.

He­li­copters play a key role in re­mote area con­nec­tiv­ity, in­tracity move­ment, tourism, law en­force­ment, dis­as­ter re­lief, search and res­cue and emer­gency med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion. In­dia cur­rently has less than 300 civil­ian he­li­copters which is very low as com­pared to other de­vel­op­ing na­tions.

The govern­ment will pro­mote heli­copter us­age in the fol­low­ing man­ner: Sep­a­rate reg­u­la­tions for he­li­copters will be no­ti­fied by the Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA) af­ter due con­sul­ta­tions with stake­holder. The govern­ment will fa­cil­i­tate the de­vel­op­ment of at least four heli-hubs ini­tially across the coun­try to pro­mote re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity. The MoCA will co­or­di­nate with the Min­istry of Fi­nance, Min­istry of Home Af­fairs, Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia, In­dian Rail­ways, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, hos­pi­tals, Pawan Hans and other heli­copter op­er­a­tors to fa­cil­i­tate HEMS. The DGCA will bring out reg­u­la­tions ex­clu­sively for HEMS, which will stip­u­late that he­li­copters un­der HEMS op­er­a­tions shall not be used for any other pur­pose. Such be­ing the case, he­li­copters un­der HEMS op­er­a­tions will not re­quire any op­er­a­tional clear­ance from any agency for land­ing at ac­ci­dent sites or in the event of any other emer­gency ex­cept air de­fence clear­ance be­cause of the very na­ture of their op­er­a­tions. No land­ing charges and RNFC will be levied for HEMS op­er­a­tions. He­li­copters will be free to fly from point-to-point with­out prior ATC clear­ance in airspace be­low 5,000 feet and ar­eas other than con­trolled airspace, pro­hib­ited and re­stricted ones, Tem­po­rary Seg­re­gated Ar­eas and Tem­po­rary Re­stricted Ar­eas af­ter ob­tain­ing air de­fence clear­ance, wher­ever re­quired and in­ti­mat­ing the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion to the near­est ATC: point of ori­gin, des­ti­na­tion, level, ex­pected time of de­par­ture, ex­pected time of ar­rival and the du­ra­tion of flight. For this, the Min­istry of De­fence and MoCA will set up web-based plat­forms. The Air­ports Au­thor­ity of In­dia (AAI) may pro­vide or ear­mark/lease land for heli­copter op­er­a­tions at AAI air­ports on ap­pro­pri­ate com­mer­cial terms from where he­li­copters can op­er­ate with­out in­ter­fer­ing with fixed-wing traf­fic. Air­port charges for heli­copter op­er­a­tions will be suit­ably ra­tio­nalised. A sep­a­rate heli­copter cell will be cre­ated in DGCA. The Min­istry of De­fence, through the In­dian Air Force, will cre­ate a sys­tem whereby ex­pe­di­tious air de­fence clear­ance may be granted. A begin­ning has been made to de­velop the ro­tary-wing seg­ment in an or­gan­ised man­ner and it is now for the in­dus­try to rally around such ef­forts by util­is­ing the he­li­ports and heli-hubs which are soon go­ing to dot the na­tion.

Union Min­is­ter for Civil Avi­a­tion P. Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju at the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony of the first In­te­grated heliport to the na­tion at Rohini Heliport, in Delhi on Fe­bru­ary 28, 2017. The Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha and the Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion, R.N. Choubey are also seen.

Union Min­is­ter for Civil Avi­a­tion Ga­jap­athi Raju flag­ging off the first heli­copter at Rohini Heliport

Union Min­is­ter for Civil Avi­a­tion, P. Ashok Ga­jap­athi Raju watch­ing the model at the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony of the first in­te­grated heliport at Rohini Heliport in Delhi on Fe­bru­ary 28, 2017. The Lt Gov­er­nor of Delhi Anil Bai­jal, the Min­is­ter of State for Civil Avi­a­tion Jayant Sinha, the Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Civil Avi­a­tion, R.N. Choubey and the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Udit Raj are also seen

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