Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Govt’s UDAN plan may not take off from Juhu after all

Four days after Juhu airport was chosen as part of the government’s UDAN (Udey Desh Aam Nagrik) plan, which aims to make air travel affordable for the masses, it has now come to light that the ambitious project may not take off from Juhu after all. Not unless the Airports Authority of India (AAI) complies with two conditions agreed upon with the aviation regulator when the airport’s license was renewed in June.

According to the letter of renewal, the licence was subject to: one, making a consolidated list of all exemptions with probable date of completion along with applications including an action plan and mitigation measures and two, an ‘action taken’ report on the annual surveillance inspection carried out in February 2016. But four months after the stipulated 30 day time assigned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airport is yet to comply.

“AAI has not even appointed a nodal officer to carry out the documentation. It is stuck now,” said a DGCA official. Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said that he would seek details of the delay in compliance.

The busiest heliport in the country, Juhu airport handles about 100 movements daily, many of them to offshore oil rigs. The development poses a risk to these operations as airports can't have commercial flight operations without a valid licence.
25/10/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror