Just days after it started construction of three helipads for the proposed training institute at Gliding Centre Pune (GCP),Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) has been told by the Indian Air Force (IAF) station,Lohegaon,to obtain a clearance from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) before proceeding further. The information was passed over to PHHL officials three days ago by officials of 2 Wing of the IAF.
“Hadapsar Gliding Centre comes under the jurisdiction of the IAF base at Lohegaon. And any such activity within the air space of the Air Force base requires an MoD clearance. We have communicated this to PHHL,” an IAF officer told The Indian Express.
PHHL has proposed a Helicopter Training Academy at GCP. Under a contract by PHHL,National Building and Construction Company (NBCC) has been appointed as the management consultants for the project. The contract for construction at ground zero has been awarded to one M/s Surendra Infrastructure Pvt Ltd from Kolkata which would be constructing three helipads,two hangars,a parking lot and other such facilities. The objection raised by IAF might delay PHHL plan of getting their helicopter training institute started by March 1. “Last Thursday,we received a call from SatCo of the IAF questioning the construction work. They informed us that a letter from the MoD is mandatory before any such construction,” said a senior pilot of GCP.
A senior official of the PHHL,on being contacted over phone,said,”We received the communication about MoD clearance requirement about three days ago. We would be pursuing it further at ministry-level. Despite this,work at Hadapsar will not be halted as obtaining the permission would continue side by side along with the construction work. Also,the time line laid for the institute will be adhered to despite this.”
Meanwhile,a day after The Indian Express reported about the construction of helipads by PHHL intersecting with the proposed runway for the glider operations,the construction work of helipad was halted by NBCC. “There has been no work for the past three days. The officials also came asking about the proposal of the runway,” the GCP pilot said.