Additional subsides to Heli companies: CM

| | Dehradun
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Additional subsides to Heli companies: CM

Sunday, 08 September 2019 | PNS | Dehradun

In a first of its kind conclave, a Helicopter Summit- 2019 held on the theme enhancing connectivity by means of Helicopters was organised at Sahastradhara helidrome here on Saturday. The event was organised under joint aegis of the Union ministry of civil aviation, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Uttarakhand government. Addressing the event, the chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat said that there is big scope for extension of helicopter services in the state. He announced that the state government would provide additional subsidy to the Heli operators in the state apart from the subsidies offered by the Union government under Udan scheme. Rawat also made a declaration for organising the conclave every year in the state. He said that there are places in the state where almost 20 hours are spent on reaching by road and in these areas Helicopters can reach in less than 1.30 hours. The CM added that the number of high end tourists is increasing in the state and Uttarakhand is fast becoming favoured destination for shooting of movies.  He said that Uttarakhand is a sensitive state in terms of natural disasters and helicopters are very useful in saving lives of the disaster victims and providing relief to them. He also emphasised a need to have Heli ambulance service for transporting serious patients from remote and mountainous areas to hospitals. Rawat informed that about 2 lakh are using helicopter services every year and the state has 51 helipads, two airports and one air strip. A water-drome is being developed at Tehri.

The chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said that Helicopter services played an important role in Kedarnath and Arakot disasters. He opined that Heli services are needed to be promoted for increasing connectivity to small places.  The CS said that factors like proximity to Delhi, presence of Jollygrant airport, trained human resource, good schools, clean environment and effective single window system can induce the Heli companies to start operations in Uttarakhand. The union civil aviation secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola said that in mountainous areas heliports should be developed in place of airports. He said that the union government can develop heliports if the state government provides land.

Appreciating the event, Kharola said that in the civil aviation sector is increasing at a rate of 17 percent in last five years and more than 600 aeroplanes are flying in Indian air space. He advised that focus on things like relaxation of laws, relief in ATF tax, proper security arrangements and infrastructure can help in increasing heli services in Uttarakhand. The director of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration (LBSNAA),  Mussoorie Dr Sanjiv Chopra said there is a challenge to make the Heli services affordable. He disclosed that in principle approval to start commercial Heli services from three helipads in LBSNAA have been received.

The event was also addressed by Mayor of Dehradun Sunil Uniyal Gama and Chairman of Civil Aviation Committee of FICCI.

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