Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has directed the officers to speed up the construction works of five heliports in the state viz. Kangnidhar in Mandi district, SASE (Manali) in Kullu district, Baddi in Solan district and Shimla and Rampur in Shimla district so that the people could take benefits of these at the earliest besides felicitating the tourists. He was presiding over a meeting regarding development of heliports under RCS UDAN-2, here today.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government had already awarded the works of Kangnidhar, Baddi and Rampur heliports while works on Shimla and SASE (Manali) heliports were nearing completion. He directed the executing agencies for completion of all these heliports within a stipulated time period as these would not only provide better facilities to high end tourists but would also give new fillip to the tourism activities. He said that the state government would provide required security for the proposed heliports as per the requirements of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The Chief Minister said that additional land had been identified for Baddi heliport for additional FATO/APRON and bigger passenger terminal buildings. He said that being situated in the industrial belt of the State, this heliport would facilitate the entrepreneurs visiting this area. The heliport was also of immense importance as it was situated near Chandigarh international airport.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government also intends to construct three new FATOs at Kangnidhar while two FATOs had already been constructed. These FATOs would be used for helicopter parking and also for the visit of VVIPs as per their visit protocols. He said that the state government had already carried geo-technical study and structure consultancy for stabilization of cutting works at Kangnidhar.
The work on Shimla heliport was nearing completion and trial landing had been carried out on this heliport, said the Chief Minister adding that the state government intended to complete this heliport at the earliest so that helicopters operation could be started under RCS UDAN-2. He said that this heliport being situated in the heart of the city would become popular amongst the tourists visiting the state capital.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government had taken up the matter regarding use of SASE heliport under UDAN-2 with the Ministry of Defence. The issue regarding providing basic facilities like passenger terminal building etc. had been taken with the SASE and DRDO authorities.
He said that all the existing airports at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu were being expanded to facilitate landing of bigger aeroplanes. He said that runway of Shimla airport would be increased by another 300 meters which would facilitate landing and take off of bigger aeroplanes. This would provide better air connectivity to the state capital.
The Chief Minister said that OLS study by Airport Authority of India found Nagchala site in Mandi district feasible for construction of greenfield airport. The state government would be carrying out LIDAR survey for this proposed airport through WAPCOS. He said that this airport on completion would go a long way in promoting tourism in Himachal Pradesh.
Jai Ram Thakur urged the Pawan Hans Limited to depute a technical team at Shimla to expedite construction of all these heliports. He said that the Limited should also submit operational and management plan for the heliports under UDAN-2.
He urged for resuming of Alliance air flight service on Delhi-Shimla-Delhi route under UDAN-1 besides ensuring regular flights.
Secretary, Tourism Devesh Kumar assured the Chief Minister that all out efforts would be ensured for time-bound completion of all these heliports in the State.
Director Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yunus conducted the proceedings of the meeting and also made presentation on progress in works of all these heliports.
CMD, Pawan Hans Limited Sanjeev Razdan while attending the meeting through video conferencing assured the Chief Minister that the Pawan Hans Limited would strive hard to meet the deadlines set by the state government for completion of heliports.
Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation Usha Padhee also joined the meeting through video conferencing.
Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister J.C. Sharma, ADGP Ashok Tiwari, representatives of Pawan Hans Limited and WAPCOS also attended the meeting.