Tatas soar into Colaba

Become the first corporate house to have a helipad in south Mumbai

The Tatas have become the first corporate house in Mumbai to have a helipad in Colaba. Their helipad atop Taj Wellington Mews — a luxury apartment hotel in Colaba — is now functional.

Over the last weekend, two trial landings were conducted in the presence of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)-appointed inspectors and sources said that they gave the green signal.

The corporate house has also got requisite clearances from the defence and environment ministries. MiD DAY was the first to report about the helipad on April 23.

The only other helipads in Mumbai are at the Mahalaxmi racecourse (open to the public), the Raj Bhavan (for the governor and heads of state) and at INS Kunjali, Colaba (used for defence purposes only). The helipad atop the Essar building in Mahalaxmi is defunct.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is reportedly constructing a helipad atop his new house in Altamount Road, but hasn’t got all clearances.

The Tatas intend to use the helipad for its senior management.
“One pilot has already been endorsed by DGCA for landing on the helipad, while endorsement for one more is on the way,” said a source.

The endorsement of chairman Ratan Tata — a trained pilot — will also be done shortly. The Tatas own two helicopters of which the twin engine MD-900 will be used for sorties to Colaba.

The last five years have seen talks of a helipad at locations in South Mumbai, but all have been shelved for various reasons (see box).

Grounded plans

2005: There were plans to build a helipad by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) near Mumbai Port Trust’s botanical gardens in Colaba.The plan ran into trouble after residents protested; there were no defence clearances.

2006: MADC planned to build one off Napean Sea Road near Priyadarshini Park. That project was shelved after residents protests.

2003: Pawan Hans helicopters wanted to start intra-city services in Mumbai. A helipad constructed in Colaba could not be utilised because of objections by the resident associations about the resultant noise pollution

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