On Thursday, the general administration (civil aviation) department issued the policy that makes construction of a designated helipad mandatory in all 358 talukas of 36 districts in the state. The policy states that the district collectors have to ready the permanent sites for the prposed helipads in accordance with the civil aviation guidelines.
“A helipad in taluka will ensure provision of a safe landing space. This was necessary because of the heavy VIP movement across the state. The district collectors will have to take up construction of the helipads through the PWD,” principal secretary (civil aviation) Valsa Nair Singh told TOI.
The policy has been outlined in accordance with the Director General of Civil Aviation’s guidelines and it ensures that the rules related to the helipads are stringent. It has mandated the size of the helipads and their maintenance in accordance with all protocol and safety measures.
The policy details the specifications for the temporary helipads that can be set up on a school and police ground or in an MIDC area. The policy also puts restrictions on the baggage to be carried and arrangements to be made by the district collector for the VVIPs’ road transport. The VVIPs include the governor, chief minister and the state ministers who use state-owned or hired aircraft.
Revenue department (Pune district) officials said their proposal for a helipad near Circuit House was pending with the defence ministry.
The CMs chopper had malfunctioned more than five times in 2017, following which he had issued a statement that helipads were constructed on vast stretches of land without the mandatory specifications.