Chopper operators yet to get minutes of meeting from AAI | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Chopper operators yet to get minutes of meeting from AAI

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2013 02:05 IST
Soubhik Mitra

Concerned about the helicopter operations from Juhu airport, an industry think tank has written to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) over delay in issue of minutes of a meeting that decided that the airport's secondary runway would not be shut down.

The Rotary Wing Society of India (RSWI) raised the concern because the AAI had discarded suggestions to shut down the runway in January, but despite several reminders from chopper operators, the minutes of the meeting are not being issued.

"The minutes would be the only documentary evidence concluding the debate over the use of the secondary runway. We cannot see a reason to delay it," said Captain Uday Gelli, president, RWSI, western region.

On January 9, the AAI had decided to overrule a report by its own officials to shut down Juhu's secondary runway after chopper operators and independent safety experts said that operation from the main runway was not safe because of its proximity to the Mumbai airport's secondary runway.

The decision, however, sparked off a major controversy as the AAI had given height clearance to about 150 upcoming structures in the neighbourhood assuming that the flight operations from Juhu's secondary runway will be stopped.

Now, chopper operators fear that the delay in issuing of minutes could be because of pressure from the developers' lobby.

"Builders likely to be affected by the decision had threatened to drag the AAI to court. It seems that has resulted in the delay in documenting the concluding remarks of the meeting," said a Vile Parle-based helicopter operator.

AAI chairman VP Agarwal was not available for comment.