Following a decision to make suitable changes in the government policy, the city is likely to get some private and government helipads including one on top of the Mantrayala building.
The state also plans to run in partnership with a civil aviation operator for three heliports.
The Urban Development Department has approved a proposal allowing helipads atop high-rises. It will amend the Development Control Rule that will enable the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clear pending proposals.
There are two proposals from Mukesh Ambani for constructing helipad on top his Colaba and Altamount Road residences. The third application has come from the Oberoi Group for its Goregaon site.
Urban Development Principal Secretary T.C. Benjamin said the government was not averse to having a helipad atop Mantralaya building. “But then we will have to verify if the building structure can bear the extra burden.”
The Mantralaya is over 40 years old. Plans are afoot to redevelop the cluster that houses old building, the new building and ministers’ cottages.
Benjamin said the three government heliports would come up in Nariman Point, Cuffe Parade and Sagar Sangam in Belapur (New Mumbai). The heliports will have landing facility for all types of civil choppers and will be developed like any other airports. “We have to get clearance from the coastal region regulators for some site because they are too close to sea.”
He said the state planned to run its heliports in partnership with government-controlled Pawan Hans that operates commercial chopper services in Juhu’s old airstrip. The four-member committee has been appointed to plan the heliport project.
According to Benjamin the persons or groups wishing to have their own helipads will have to obtain permissions from authorities like the civil aviation ministry and environment department. “We will ensure that the buildings where helipads are planned are strong enough. We will also ensure that the chopper movements do not damage other buildings or disturb residents in the vicinity.”
Earlier, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the state had shown an interest to build a heliport in Nariman Point to enable landing of both a helicopter and small aircraft. This will enable the city’s elite to take an air taxi from the airport to Nariman point, by reducing the two-hour commute to 15 minutes.