Bombay HC not to allow height relaxation for buildings near airport

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court made it clear on Thursday that it will not allow height relaxation for buildings to be constructed near the airport.

“Whatever be the submissions of parties, there can’t be any relaxation in the height restrictions. This court will never allow for relaxation,“ said a bench headed by Justice Vidyasagar Kanade. It added, however, that since there is ambiguity on height restrictions in certain areas around the airport, the court shall consider the issue. There was scope for an aeronautical study to ascertain the permissible height, provided it is calculated from the mean sea level.

It allowed the appellate body of the Airports Authority of India to process all applications where permission was rejected for construction outside the funnel area -the approach take off areas at the two ends of the runway -but inside the inner horizontal surface (IHS) -an imaginary circular surface with a radius of 4km at a designated height above the airport.These areas have restrictions to ensure there are no obstacles on flight paths. The court, however, restrained the appellate authority from taking a final decision.

Developer Sanguinity Realty, earlier Keystone Realtors, had moved the court after AAI rejected its plea to add three floors to its under-construction 12 storey building on Cyril Road, Bandra (W), which falls inside the IHS. The developer’s advocate said the appellate authority has not processed its application citing an embargo by the court.

Hearing a PIL by Yeshwant Shenoy , an advocate, regarding the danger posed by highrises near the airport, the HC had directed on September 1 last year that if any appeal is filed against AAI rejection of permission, the appellate authority should not exercise its discretion on structures within the funnel area and the IHS.

On Thursday , the bench said there is ambiguity on the actual height outside the funnel area but in the IHS. “In our view, at this stage, no prejudice will be caused to any parties if the appellate authority is allowed to process all such applications against rejection of permission by AAI,” it said, and allowed processing the application according to regulations under the Aircraft Act. “However final decision may not be taken,” it added.

The bench also said the appellate authority , if needed, may refer the matter to the International Civil Aviation Organisation or any other authority as per rules. It asked all authorities to submit relevant aviation rules at the next hearing on April12.

Credits ET Realty

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