NEW DELHI: The Territorial government is exploring the feasibility of helicopter service between Puducherry and other places through the operation of Pawan Hans Helicopter.
Minister for Welfare and Tourism P Rajavelu on Tuesday chaired a meeting along with officials of Pawan Hans Ltd, travel and tour operators, hoteliers and other stakeholders and officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Tourism Department.
A presentation was also given by Gyan Prakash, the assistant manager of Pawan Hans Ltd, on the operations.
The helicopter company has evinced interest in operation of service between Puducherry and Chennai, Puducherry and Karaikal and Karaikal and Chennai and joy rides for 10 to 15 minutes from the Puducherry airport.
They have sought support and security from the government. Rajavelu said the matter would be discussed with the Chief Minister N Rangasamy and a decision taken thereafter.
Since there is no aviation fuel depot, Pawan Hans is expecting the government to bear the cost of transport of aviation fuel from Chennai to Puducherry by bowser (tanker), said director, Tourism, K K Singh. Besides, they want at least two or three seats of the six-seater helicopter be underwritten (borne) by the government to ensure viability.
In addition, they sought security clearance for passengers and the copters at the airport.
Pawan Hans has also suggested Travel and Tour operators to plan a package tour with the helicopter services.
The travel from Chennai to Puducherry would take 40 minutes and cost `6,000 per head; from Puducherry to Karaikal (25 minutes) would cost `4,000 per head; and from Chennai to Karaikal (an hour) would cost ` 9,000 per head. The joy ride would cost `2,000 per head.