The intra-city air traffic in Mumbai is likely to grow in days to come with the state government proposing two new heliports in the city and satellite township, Navi Mumbai.
This proposal has been pending since long and will come up for clearance before the cabinet on Wednesday.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), nodal agency for this ambitious project has proposed one heliport near the proposed water transport jetty at Nariman Point, and other at Sector 30, Navi Mumbai.
The proposed heliports will allow landing of one helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft simultaneously. Typically, heliports can contain one or more helipads.
“The heliport will be used for public purposes like VIP travel, medical emergency, evacuation as well as private landings. Helicopter traffic has been on the rise but daily landings are limited to 10 in a day due to limited landing space,’’ said a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.
The project, however, is yet to get environment and defence department’s approval, which is important for it to be sent to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for clearance.
Earlier, private helipads atop buildings had faced environment ministry’s wrath.
The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had opposed the helipads on the ground, as they would violate noise pollution norms. The ministry had however allowed setting up of heliports for public purposes. The Navy had also opposed private helipads because of security reasons, as it did not want helicopters flying close to its naval base, INS Kunjali.
However, the state government hopes that since this is a public project, the defence department will co-operate.