India’s Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju announces the news to Twitter followers.
“Nation’s first integrated heliport inaugurated at Rohini today. Exciting times ahead for helicopter flying in Delhi,” read a post from India’s Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s Twitter account, published the morning of Feb. 28.
State-owned Pawan Hans built the heliport, in association with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, for a reported 100 crore Rupees (roughly equivalent to $14.9 million). It was officially inaugurated Feb. 28, with the first flight from the heliport reportedly taken by five children from the nongovernmental organization Child Rights and You.
News outlets have reported that with the new facility, Pawan Hans would be capable of giving sightseeing tours. Reports have also said that India hopes to bring training and maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses back to the country. The heliport, it hopes, is a step toward that goal. Reports have said the heliport would help reduce congestion at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and provide connectivity to nearby pilgrimage centers apart from medical emergency evacuation services. Reports have suggested the Indian government is looking to build three more heliports in various regions of the country.
This new heliport comes as the government is in the process of disinvesting from Pawan Hans. The Ministry of Civil Aviation is currently requesting proposals for engagement of an “asset valuer” for the disinvestment.