New Delhi: The government has decided to devise an action plan to make helicopter operations safe and set up a dedicated group to recommend steps in this direction in the wake of major accidents that has claimed several lives including that of two Chief Ministers.

"The action plan is to lay stress on analysis of accident, incident data and implementation of recommendations of inquiries; training of pilots in handling of emergencies with the use of simulators, introduction of safety management system which has proved successful in countries where it is practiced and addressing the deteriorated condition of helipads under the control of state governments," an official statment said.

The group, consisting of officials from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Civil Aviation Ministry and experts, would advise the government on the issue of flight safety of helicopter operations.

The Director General of Civil Aviation E K Bharat Bhushan on Friday held a meeting with all the helicopter operators, manufacturers, representatives of Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI) and senior officers from Airports Authority of India and the DGCA.

The country had witnessed chopper accidents in which several lives, including that of two Chief Ministers, have been lost and causes of accidents were "loss of control" and "collision with terrain", among others attributed to bad weather, human factors, pilot errors and maintenance.

In the review, the helicopter operators expressed their views on wide ranging issues related to helicopter operations. They supported creation of separate corridor for helicopter operations.

Bhushan assured that separately, the matter would be discussed with AAI to review the special corridors for helicopters for operations from Juhu and Delhi. Also proposal for setting up heliport at Mahalaxmi Race Course in the heart of Mumbai was discussed.

The operators expressed concerns that 71 percent of the 271 helicopters in the country, out of which 209 have been engaged in commercial non-scheduled operations, were of single engine.

Questioning the government on issuing licenses for helicopter operations when DGCA doesn't have sufficient number of trained people to look after it, the operators asked the government to recruit more number of qualified people, as the number of helicopters in the country was growing.

Bhushan also advised RWSI to create a database of all helipads available in the country and their features, obstacles and publish the information for use by helicopter pilots.

The issue of some helipads operating without proper certification or equipments particularly in Garhwal Himalayas and in desert area, were also raised.

(Agencies)