VISAKHAPATNAM: The much-delayed heli-tourism project proposed in the Port City seems to have taken wings as the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) is chalking out plans to revisit the MoU signed with Sky Choppers Logistics Private Limited (SCLPL) for operating the services.
Though the VUDA signed the pact with SCLPL in 2016 to launch the project from October last, the plan didn’t materialise for various reasons.
As per the pact, the private firm was supposed to operate the heli-tourism services from VUDA Park to Kailasagiri, VUDA Park to Bheemili as well as VUDA Park to Araku Valley. Besides, the agency also had planned to operate seaplanes between Vijayawada and Kakinada and Vijayawada and Vizag, landing near Mangamaripeta region for which the works did not take off.
According to sources, then the VUDA had almost cancelled the agreement and was trying to rope in public sector helicopter carrier Pawan Hans for the project.
For the purpose, the VUDA has also constructed a helipad and three rest-rooms at the VUDA Park.
Sources say that after the delay of months, the officials are now planning to enter into agreement with the Sky Choppers Logistics Private Limited again,but with a revision to the earlier agreement.
“Delay in getting the mandatory permission from the aviation authorities is the reason for the project not taking off as scheduled. Now, the private firm (SCLPL) has expressed interest to launch the operations. Plans are afoot to sign the MoU with it again. We expect that the project would be launched by May next year,” a senior VUDA official says.
The SCLPL representatives say that the private firm had been working out the logistics to launch the heli-tourism project and if all went well, it would be materialised soon.
The story thus far
VUDA signed pact with Sky Choppers Logistics Private Limited in 2016 to launch the project from October last
It had almost cancelled the agreement and was trying to rope in Pawan Hans for the project
Now VUDA is planning to enter into a fresh MoU with SCLPL again with a revision to the earlier agreement