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BW Businessworld

Flying Past Traffic Jams

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Pawan Hans, a public sector helicopter operator under the civil aviation ministry, is planning to connect four corners of the National Capital Region (NCR) by chopper. The company is in the process of acquiring land and setting up four heli-pads at Rohini, Akshardham temple (near the Commonwealth Games Village site), Noida and Gurgaon. The idea is to commercially offer a short ride service for individuals who can afford to pay and don't want to spend the time or effort commuting by road. "It will also greatly enhance VIP security and safety while reducing the disruption of normal traffic on roads," says R.K. Tyagi, chairman and managing director of Pawan Hans.

Work is due to start soon on the Rohini heliport (a Rs 60-70 crore project) where the Delhi Development Authority has already allocated the land. The helipad at the Games Village site will be smaller and will cost only Rs 2 crore. Haryana government has offered land in Gurgaon. In Noida, land near the expressway has been identified. Facilities of the helipad will be open for usage by other private helicopters (there are a total of 252 helicopters operating in India) on payment of usage charges.

The company targets to reach a turnover of Rs 390-400 crore this year, up from about Rs 194 crore last year.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 02-11-2009)