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Civil Aviation Minister Inaugurates International Civil Helicopters Conclave 2015

New Delhi. Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the International Civil Helicopters Conclave 2015 in New Delhi October 16.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr Raju called upon all stakeholders to come up with new ideas to give a boost to the civil aviation sector as a whole, and the helicopter industry in the country in particular.

He said a new Civil Aviation Policy is in the process of being drafted. Once it is ready, response and comments of stakeholders will be sought so that a vibrant and forward looking policy can be put in place. The Minister also said the facility of flying should not be restricted to only the privileged people in the country. We should put policies in place so that flying becomes affordable and reaches the masses.

MoS Civil Aviation, Culture and Tourism (I/C) Dr Mahesh Sharma stressed upon the need to increase helicopter services to the North Eastern and hilly areas of the country where road connectivity is a major problem. He talked about the need to create Helihubs in Delhi and Guwahati to facilitate smooth navigation of helicopters.

Addressing the conclave, Mr RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation said the new Civil Aviation Policy that is being drafted recognises the special needs of the helicopter sector and efforts are being made to put in place a separate set of regulations for this sector. He said the helicopter sector needs light touch regulations. The new civil aviation policy, including the policies of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will have such light touch regulations without compromising with overall safety requirements.

The Secretary further informed that the proposed Civil Aviation Policy seeks to simplify procedures and remove policy blocks so that more and more people can fly. Regional connectivity and religious tourism using helicopters will be given a major push under the new policy. Efforts are on to work out fiscal initiatives for the sector with the Ministry of Finance. Moreover, talks are on with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways to work out ways for a quick and low cost evacuation of victims of road accidents.

Speaking on the issue of safety of helicopter travel, he said GAGAN satellite assisted navigation systems which provide one metre resolution even in unregulated air-space will be used for efficient monitoring and tracking of helicopter movement.

Mr Raju also inaugurated an exhibition on Safety Management System, Multi Mission Utility and Regional Air Connectivity. He launched the corporate logo of Pawan Hans Limited and released a coffee table book on the occasion.

The conclave marks the 30th anniversary of Pawan Hans Limited. It is a one-day event with three technical sessions. M Sathiyavathy, DG, DGCA; Arun Mishra, Regional Director, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); Dr BP Sharma, Chairman & Managing Director, Pawan Hans Ltd and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.

© India Strategic