National Helicopter Medical emergency plan to launch soon

National Helicopter Medical

Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday said the Union government will mark up a national plan for the helicopter emergency medical services in the country.

The minister has announced three new projects for enhancing the helicopter sector in the country that include Project Akash, HEMS, and fractional ownership.

Under the pilot project ‘Sanjeevani’, a helicopter will be deployed in the next few weeks to provide emergency medical services at AIIMS Rishikesh, stated Scindia. The helicopter will have a service cover of a 150 km radius and will deliver emergency evacuation within 20 minutes. This project will assist the government in drafting the national policy, the minister said while speaking at the fourth Heli-India summit in Srinagar.

He also revealed the guidelines for a new initiative called “fractional ownership” of helicopters, beneath which multiple owners share the cost of acquisition and operation of the aircraft in return for rights to use them for a specified number of hours or days in a year.

He said, “The use of helicopters for medical emergency services along with the ‘fractional ownership’ will be key drivers for the growth of helicopter services in the country.” He said that his Ministry has also set up a “Helicopter Accelerator Cell” to promote connectivity.

The Helicopter Accelerator Cell is involved in determining issues related to helicopters and the advisory group of industry representatives has been helping in identifying problem areas.

“We have waived off landing and parking charges for helicopters at airports and we have started helicopter sensitisation training of ATC officers for speedier helicopter traffic handling. Three helicopter corridors — Mumbai-Pune, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, and Shamshabad-Begumpet — have been created and new IFR corridors are being planned. Working with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), we have been able to allot helipad spaces from the design stage for all future expressways and major highways so that they can be used for the evacuation of accident victims. We have already commenced work on the upgradation of Juhu helibase — the largest in the country — to accommodate night operations and helicopter IFR routes using GAGAN,” he added.

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