Historic Juhu airfield set to be reopened


Prime VIP
Mumbai, June 30

The historic airfield at Juhu — where the late JRD Tata landed a tiny aircraft nearly a century ago — is all set to reopen as the authorities are working towards decongesting the Mumbai airport.

The Juhu airfield currently functions as a base for Pawan Hans which uses it to ferry ONGC employees to the oil rigs offshore at Bombay High. The airfield is also used by some private helicopter operators. The decision to reopen the Juhu airfield has been taken because of the increasing traffic at the Mumbai airport. A number of near misses have thrown the authorities into a tizzy, say aviation sources.

The Airports Authority of India has appointed KPMG to study the feasibility of allowing aircraft to be operated from the Juhu airfield. However, due to its extremely small size only small aircraft owned by charter companies and individuals may be allowed to use the airfield, AAI sources said. The feasibility of turboprop aircraft belonging to commercial airlines landing here is also under consideration.

Sources say if the proposal comes through feeder services of airlines, which connect smaller destinations in Maharashtra and neighboring states, may be diverted to the Juhu airfield.
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