According to BCAS rules the aerodrome should have only one access point due to security reasons.
Mumbai: The Pawan Hans entry to the Juhu aerodrome will be shut in three months. The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) has decided that there will be only one gate for the aerodrome — the main gate, which will bear the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) name. Currently, visitors enter the aerodrome through both gates, but the Pawan Hans gate is more popular. The AAI does not have control over the Pawan Hans gate and does not have access to the records of visitors at Pawan Hans, which creates a security threat. To stop this, the government has decided to close the Pawan Hans gate, from where the aerodrome got its name.
The MoCA decision follows a meeting held earlier this month, focusing on the loopholes in the security of Juhu aerodrome. In the meeting with Pawan Hans officials, AAI and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the ministry insisted that the gate was against BCAS norms and that the aerodrome should have only one access point. Sources said Pawan Hans officials have agreed to the ministry’s decision.
An officer from AAI headquarters confirmed the decision taken by the ministry and said, “The decision should have been taken long back. According to BCAS rules the aerodrome should have only one access point due to security reasons.” The officer further alleged, “It was also learnt that a few of the staff operated without the valid Airport Entry Pass (AEP), which used to go unreported.”
According to the minutes of the meeting in Delhi circulated to AAI, BCAS, Pawan Hans and airport director of Juhu aerodrome, all the movements will commence from AAI’s recently renovated gate from around June.
An official claimed that the helicopter service company has been operating with an exclusive gate since the late 1980s.
Senior officials from the ministry said though the step of shutting down the Pawan Hans gate was one of the important decisions taken by the ministry, a few other issues related to the helicopter service company were also discussed.
Though a Delhi-based senior official from Pawan Hans confirmed the move, Sanjay Kumar, general manager (western region) of Pawan Hans remained unavailable for comment.