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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pawan Hans eyes bigger role for copters

From being a favourite mode of transport for VVIPs and political leaders, more so during election campaigns, helicopters are now vying for attention to become the lifeline of the country by providing services to the common man during times of natural disasters, medical emergencies and maintaining vital infrastructure projects.
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) — a state-run helicopter organisation which has a nation-wide presence and undertakes pilgrimage trips — is set to carve out a bigger role for itself in the near future.
With heliports coming up in Delhi and Mumbai and helicopter corridors being earmarked by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the PHHL is poised to provide helicopter services during the Commonwealth Games to be held here in October.
The PHHL has also decided not to raise its fares for pilgrimage trips to the Vaishno Devi and Kedarnath shrines despite the recent imposition of additional duties on fuel, PHHL chairman-cum-managing director R.K. Tyagi told journalists here.
A round-trip fare to Vaishno Devi costs about Rs.2,450, while the Kedarnath trip fare has been kept at Rs.7,000.
On the arrangements for the Commonwealth Games, Mr. Tyagi said that while one heliport was coming up at Rohini, another would come up near the Games Village near Akshardham in East Delhi.
“The Delhi Development Authority is giving us Rs.1.92 crore for the construction of the second helipad near the Games Village,” he added.
Mr. Tyagi said the company was also holding discussions with the governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to acquire land for creating helipads at 10-12 places in the Delhi region.
The Rohini heliport in West Delhi would cover helicopter operations, maintenance, repairs and overhaul facilities as well as a training academy for pilots and technical personnel.
Primary Hub Centre
The one near the Games Village would be used as a Primary Hub Centre from where helicopters would operate during the day and position back in the evenings, and also facilitate the transportation of VIPs, officials and players to the 15 game sites in Delhi.
In view of the growth potential for its business in new areas such as law and order, medical services and tourism, the PHHL has ordered 10 helicopters and has plans to expand its fleet by 100 choppers in the next few years, officials said

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