How Can Helicopters Boost Uttarakhand Tourism?

Investing in Aviation Infrastructure

How Can Helicopters Boost Uttarakhand Tourism?

Mr. Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister, Uttarakhand, today said that the state has immense potential in the civil aviation sector, including answering the question, how can helicopters boost Uttarkhand tourism? He went on to invite the industry to invest in the state.

Addressing a webinar “2nd Helicopter Summit-2020,” organized by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr. Rawat said that the state government is working to expand the existing aviation structure available in Dehradun. “Considering the future requirements, we’re looking to expand it further,” he added.

Mr. Rawat said that the state has around a 550 km border shared with the neighboring countries, and there is a need to have infrastructure development in these areas. He also said that helicopter service is an important sector on which the state government is focusing on. “We have 50 helipads in the state, and this needs to be further expanded,” he said.

Mr. Rawat also stated that the state government is already working with the central government to upgrade Dehradun and Pantnagar as international airports.

Mr. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, said that helicopters will be an important component of the UDAAN scheme where viability gap funding is being provided. He said that the challenge of the viability of helicopters is being addressed by adopting various methods and they are trying to cut expenditures wherever possible. “We are talking to state governments to come forward and enhance viability gap funding so that the helicopters come within the reach of the common man,” he added.

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Highlighting the role of state governments in developing the helicopter sector, Mr. Kharola said, “We are requesting the state governments to rationalize the taxes on ATF, which will reduce the cost of operation of helicopters,” he added.

Emphasizing on the manufacturing of helicopters in India and the MRO services, Mr. Kharola said, “A network of MROs needs to be spread all over the country for the maintenance of the helicopters.”

Mr. Sunil Sharma, Principal Secretary – Transport, Roads and Buildings, Government of Telangana, said that there are immense opportunities for helicopters in the state, and Telangana government will soon announce a new policy on helicopters. “We are planning to have an action plan wherein we can integrate our helipads with private helicopters to be used in [an] even more systematic manner,” he added.

Ms. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, highlighted the key challenges and necessary policy interventions undertaken in the Civil Aviation Policy for helicopter use in India. “The business model for helicopter operation has to be innovative,” she added.

Dr. Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI, said that helicopters play a vital role in the development of the economy. She added that the requirement of helicopters for civil use is also sizeable with growing requirements in medical tourism, mining, corporate travel, air ambulance, homeland security, air charter, and many others.

Mr. Remi Maillard, Chairman, FICCI Civil Aviation Committee, and President & MD, Airbus India, said that the government has allowed 100 percent FDI under the automatic route for helicopters and sea plane services which will act as a catalyst in the overall development of the aviation market.

Dr. R. K. Tyagi, Chairman, FICCI General Aviation Taskforce, and Former Chairman, HAL and Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd., and Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, also shared their perspective on the use of helicopters in tourism.

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