HELIPADS FOR BENGALURU CITY
On March 8, this year, the city of Bengaluru got the country’s first heli-taxi service, which flies between Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Electronics City. The six-seater Bell 407 helicopter is operated by the Kochi-based Thumby Aviation. Now work on the proposed eight helipads in the city is set to start soon with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) preparing a detailed project report (DPR). The BBMP plans to build each helipad on one acre of land with well-equipped facilities to help the seamless shifting of patients to the nearest hospital and also to ferry VVIPs to avoid the possibility of creating traffic jams for the public. To avoid the financial burden, it also plans to take up the project under the private-public-partnership (PPP) model.
BBMP Mayor R Sampath Raj said “I met the officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi recently to discuss the project. The officials have clarified that no clearance was required to build helipads on the ground level. More often, when traffic is blocked for VIP movements, it causes problems to the public. To avoid this, we plan to airlift people like the President, Prime Minister, foreign dignitaries, Governor or any other key persons visiting
the city.” The Mayor said that land for the helipads had been identified in all the eight zones and added that tenders to start the work will also be called soon.