iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

Surendra P Gangan , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 02, 2013
After the Union defence ministry turned down permission for a heliport opposite NCPA in Nariman Point last year, the state decided to shift its plan to the Mahalaxmi race course. It has recently appointed AAI to conduct an ‘obstacle limitation surface survey’ to check the feasibility of the project, which is expected to be used for VIP flying.

“We want at least three helicopters to take off or land at a time as the fleet of the President of India or the Prime Minister comprises multiple helicopters. Secondly, the heliport will have Following the poor response to its plan to sell off the de-commissioned VIP chopper Dauphin N-3, the state has decided to check on the possibility of recommissioning it The government had invited tenders early this year after it decided to sell the helicopter two years ago.

Two bidders quoted 4 crore and 6 crore, against a night-landing facility, which is currently missing in the city, leading to great inconvenience for VIPs,” said an official from Mantralaya.

He said that the survey will ascertain if the heliport was feasible at the race course, which currently has a helipad.

“We are expecting the report of the survey to be submitted in the next few weeks, after which the further course of action will be decided,” said PS Meena, additional chief secretary, general administrative department

“The heliport will be equipped with visual (day-time landing) as well as instrumental landing The cost of the project is yet to be worked out.”

The government is also plan ning to allow people to utilise the heliport for landing and taking off.

Post the 26/11 terror attack the state planned multiple heliports, including at Nariman Point, near Lilavati Hospital and Nerul.