New Delhi: A presentation with respect to Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL) was made at a meeting of the parliamentary consultative committee, attached to the ministry of civil aviation, earlier in the week.
It was highlighted that that PHHL, which currently has 35 helicopters, plans to acquire 20 more at a cost of Rs496 crore.
A number of new initiatives taken by the company were mentioned to the committee, including a Helipad initiative, under which the company plans to set up a helipad in Mumbai and Delhi, the setting up of a maintenance centre in Mumbai, equity participation in the National Flying Training School to be set up in Gondia, promoting religious tourism, air ambulances, highway helipad services, increased off-shore E&P activities among others.
According to the Pawan Hans presentation, the company is looking at a requirement for at least 100 more helicopters in the future, in order to meet emerging business opportunities and put hub and spoke synergies into place in the country.
For the year 2007-08, as of September 2007, the company has earned a net profit after tax of Rs13.45 crore.
On their part, members called for an increased focus on the development of helicopter services in India and emphasized that the potential for Pawan Hans'''' business growth was considerable, given the high rate of growth in the aviation sector.
Cutting across party lines, members also called for a re-look at the existing Airports policy in order to allow for multiple airports at metropolitan cities. They pointed out that with the growth of the civil aviation sector, more airports would be required in the country and multiple airports would be necessary to address the existing problems at metropolitan airports.
Responding to the concerns expressed by the members, Praful Patel, chairman of the committee and minister for civil aviation, said that the ministry fully shared the views and concerns of the members. He also mentioned that the issue was raised by the ministry at the recent meeting of the committee on infrastructure headed by the prime minister.
According to Patel, a group consisting of the finance minister, the civil aviation minister, and the deputy chairman of the planning commission had been set up to see how to take this process further. He assured members that a new policy for airports would be in place in the first half of 2008.