India's first heliport inaugurated in Delhi

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday inaugurated the country's first integrated heliport at Rohini locality in north west Delhi, built by state-owned chopper operator Pawan Hans (PHL).The Rohini heliport erected over an area of 25 acres, has been completed in almost two years at a cost of nearly Rs 100 crore.Speaking on the occasion, Raju said the facility will keep the overall costs under control as MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) has been incorporated in the heliport. Following the inauguration ceremony the minister tweeted: "25 acres, Rs 100 cr, operation of 10 and parking of 16 choppers, MRO, medical emergencies, disaster Mgmt (management), joyrides - that's Rohini heliport for us."Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the facility will be useful in providing medical emergency aid and enhancing tourism.Sinha pointed out that the helicopter services could become economically viable if the prevailing 25 per cent tax on Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) was reduced.The heliport sports a terminal building having a capacity of 150 passengers, four hangars with parking for 16 helicopters and nine parking bays, along with an MRO facility.According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the heliport will decongest the busy Indira Gandhi International Airport.Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey said that helicopter operations could be shifted from the IGI airport to Rohini.Choubey informed that Rohini heliport is a part of the national aviation policy which envisages having four heliports -- one in each region -- and Rohini's heliport is the first step in fulfilling this objective.Besides, the new facility will also promote regional air connectivity through helicopters in the northern part of the country for regular passenger services.Pawan Hans has prepared a roadmap to connect all the major destinations from this heliport such as Shimla, Haridwar, Dehradun, Mathura, Agra, Meerut and industrial hubs such as Manesar and Bahadurgarh.

IANS