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After Putin, 3 Ministries to Get Helipads

The headquarters of the Defense, Emergency Situations and Interior ministries may soon be equipped with helipads in an effort to relieve traffic congestion, a news report said Friday.

A day earlier, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the completion of a helicopter landing pad in the Kremlin to be used by President Vladimir Putin. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also used a landing pad near the White House to leave the government building without a motorcade.

A source close to the Industry and Trade Ministry said one of the ministry's subsidiary design institutes had launched the Vzlyot project to build helicopter landing pads on the roofs of government buildings, Kommersant said.

The initial stage of the project provides for the construction of a landing pad on the roof of the Defense Ministry's main building on Arbatskaya Ploshchad.

Other executive agencies, including the Interior Ministry and the Emergency Situations Ministry, have also been authorized to build landing pads at their office buildings.

The Industry and Trade Ministry has confirmed that it is supervising the Vzlyot project.

Meanwhile, representatives of the All-Russian Institute for Aviation Materials, a state-owned design institute in charge of the project, have declined to comment citing the confidential nature of their work.

Peskov said that although far fewer government officials were using flashing lights on their cars, which allow them to violate traffic rules, it would not solve the city's notorious traffic jams, Interfax reported Thursday.

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