A helicopter pilot shall not even start the airconditioning before the VVIP boards the aircraft, the policy says, said a senior official from the Aviation department of GAD.
Following a series of near-mishaps of helicopters ferrying Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the recent past, Maharashtra government has framed a `helipad policy’. The policy, issued by the aviation department of the General Administration Department, lays down that helipads must be demarcated clearly, and should be preferably close to cities but away from densely populated areas. A helicopter should not be started before its VVIP passenger gets on board, it says. It also provides for height restrictions for buildings in the area where a helipad is located, and also that there should be no high-tension electricity wires, television wires and other cables. A helicopter pilot shall not even start the airconditioning before the VVIP boards the aircraft, the policy says, said a senior official from the Aviation department of GAD. Landing helicopters near densely populated areas will not be allowed, he added. “No more entertaining directions from the VVIP to keep the rotor blades on before he or she boards the aircraft. A VVIP should not have any objection to traveling (by road) four to five kilometers from the helipad to the place of function. No more landing helicopters near venues of public rallies. Moreover, no more excess baggage that can hinder a smooth take-off,” he said.
On January 11 this year, a helicopter carrying chief minister Devendra Fadnavis could not take off properly. Last year, a helicopter with the CM on board got entangled in overhead wires at Nilanga and crash-landed. Later, at Alibaug, he narrowly missed being hit by the helicopter’s tail-fin rotor blades as his security guard pushed him out of harm’s way. After the January 11 incident, Fadnavis himself pressed the department to come out with a policy, the official said.