In a move that may help corporate heads, industrialists, VIPs and VVIPs visiting the city, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) plans to build a new helipad, with parking space for two choppers, in south Mumbai.
The MbPT has identified three sites -- at Nariman Point opposite to National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), behind the MbPT’s botanical garden in Colaba and near the newly-developed offshore container terminal at Indira dock. The port trust has appointed a consultant to carry out the techno-economic study and pick one location taking aspects such as road connectivity, security, civil issues, among others, into consideration.
According to sources, the consultant has submitted its report to MbPT and it is likely to come for discussion in the next board meeting. “Yes, there is a proposal for a helipad, but it is at a primary stage,” said NM Borvankar, secretary, MbPT, refusing to reveal divulge the details.
“Over the years, developments and growth in south Mumbai has been magnified, the visits of VIPs, VVIPs, and CEOs of the corporate houses have also multiplied… under the circumstances, there is demand from all the quarters for another helipad service in south Mumbai,” reads the MbPT’s official document, accessed by HT.
Currently, the city has five helipads, of which two are in south Mumbai — one at Raj Bhavan, and one at Colaba. The Raj Bhavan helipad is used only for government operations, and INS Shikra is restricted to defense operations.
In the absence of any commercial or civil aviation helipad in south Mumbai, VIPs, CEOs of corporate houses and industrialists have to depend on the helipad at Mahalaxmi racecourse in central Mumbai or at Juhu Aerodrome and Mumbai airport in the western suburbs.