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AAI issues directive on parking of choppers in Patna airport for Lok Sabha election…

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has cited operational constraints in expressing its inability to provide parking of non- schedule helicopters on its apron at the Patna airport.

It is, however, making contingency arrangements, on a war footing, to construct a temporary apron for this purpose. The AAI expects it to be ready by March 31, said its officials.

The AAI has cited implementation of new apron layout, having six parking bays, for being unable to provide parking of non-schedule helicopters on its apron, said airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria.

The AAI had, on March 1, implemented the ‘power-in-push-back’ system, where the nosewheel of an aircraft faces the airport terminal building and an aircraft is towed out, using a tractor, for taxing before take-off. The new arrangement has allowed parking of six wide-bodied aircraft at a time instead of four earlier at the Patna airport.

“We are getting ready a 1300 sq metre bituminous area as a temporary apron at the location on the eastern end that was earlier under the civil aviation department (CAD) of the government of Bihar,” said assistant general manager (air traffic management), Santosh Kumar.

“In addition, as a contingency measure, we are also preparing a 900 sq metre area, beyond the bituminous temporary apron, where we are installing paver’s block. Together, the two areas will be able to accommodate up to a maximum 16 choppers, depending on their size, for parking,” he added.

The ₹39 lakh project is to be ready for operation by March 31, as per the deadline given by the AAI to the contractor, he added.

The AAI has also asked all non-schedule helicopter operators to carry wheels (for choppers not having them) for repositioning after switching off engine at the end of taxiway. The directive forms part of the eight-point guidelines for operations, issued to non-schedule helicopter operators. AK Dwivedi, AAI deputy general manager (air traffic management), Patna airport, has issued the guidelines on behalf of the airport director on March 15.

The advisory also mentions that all non-schedule fixed wings aircraft should carry tow bar. It goes on to mention that such aircraft may be accepted and allowed parking on AAI apron subject to push back facilities and availability of parking slots.

Going by its experience during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the AAI expects around 20-odd non-schedule choppers and fixed wing aircraft here for use by political parties during the upcoming Lok Sabha election between April 11 and May 19.

During previous elections, the area earlier under the CAD was used for parking of choppers. A few spillover choppers would be parked overnight on AAI apron. The area under CAD has since been transferred to the AAI after the Centre’s approval last September to theRs 1217 crore project forconstructionof a new domesticterminalbuilding and allied structures at Patna airport.

First Published:
Mar 19, 2019 13:31 IST

Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/aai-issues-directive-on-parking-of-choppers-in-patna-airport-for-lok-sabha-election-purposes/story-D7zogSRQDgbcJTT7Cz7TxK.html

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