The Nashik district administration, on Friday, denied Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (Mehair) permission for trial landing its sea plane at Gangapur dam. If the administration issues Mehair the NOC, and everything else goes well, trial landing will be conducted on Monday morning.
Sea plane landing trials at Gangapur dam on Monday
Who has to clear trial landing?
DGCA. A team of director general of civil aviation (DGCA) officials will be present at the trials. Mehair will get DGCA clearance only after these officials inspect the trial landing and give the service their nod.
Idea behind seaplane service
It’s with a view to boost tourism that the Mumbai-based private operator, Mehair, in association with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) decided to introduce seaplanes in this stretch. The journey from Juhu aerodrome to Gangapur dam and back would take 40 minutes.
What’s hot about Nashik?
Nashik is a prominent tourist destination and is surrounded by many popular tourist spots. The sea plane service aims to connect Mumbai and Nashik. The service to Gangapur dam was scheduled for a September start, but was delayed for want of various clearances.
District collector’s take
Nashik district collector Vilas Patil said: “The seaplane service to Gangapur dam is a good move. Connectivity from Mumbai to Nashik will become easier and faster, attracting international tourists. But we simply can’t grant permission to someone by merely flashing a letter or fax. There are certain rules which need to be taken into account. I denied Mehair permission on Friday as it had not fulfilled the required criteria. We were informed just a day before about the test flight, hence NOC was denied.”
“Many things have to be taken care of before permitting trial landing, like operating the disaster management cell, suspending fishing activities, stopping swimming and bathing in the dam, etc. The entire area has to be cordoned off. The moment public come to know about plane landing, thousands will gather, which could create security problems. As far as the district administration is concerned, we will leave no stone unturned to support the company, but it needs to take required permissions. The administration will be held responsible if anything goes wrong,” the collector added.
What does Mehair say?
Numerous attempts to contact Mehair promoter Siddharth Verma proved futile. Manasi Patni, PRO, Mehair said: “Preparations are complete on our part, but I won’t be able to comment more on the subject. Siddharth Verma would be able to give you all details.”