Choppers to get separate landing corridor at airports

March 9th, 2009 - 8:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Helicopters will soon get separate corridors for landing at all major airports in the country, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said Monday.
“This would minimise traffic chaos at the airports, where wide-bodied aircraft share their space with choppers also,” the official said.

The decision comes after the Feb 9 security breach involving President Pratibha Patil’s helicopter and a passenger aircraft of Air India at the Mumbai airport.

Besides ensuring safe operations, the chopper corridor would also save a lot of time for passengers flying by it, said the official.

It generally takes a lot of time for the choppers to land and take off as they operate along with the wide-bodied aircraft at airports.

When contacted, A.K Chopra, joint director general of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), refused to comment on the issue.

According to the Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI), an association of helicopter pilots and engineers in India, there are about 180 choppers in the country, excluding the choppers owned by private industrial houses.

Also the army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have placed orders for 259 and 125 new helicopters respectively.

The AAI official said the DGCA was also planning to allocate a separate corridor for defence choppers at airports, especially for the IAF for better and secured operations.

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