Sunday, March 05, 2017

Rohini heliport will introduce joyrides soon

New Delhi: India’s first integrated heliport, which was inaugurated earlier this week in Rohini, is working to introduce helicopter “joyrides” that are expected to start by the end of March or early April this year, enabling Delhiites and tourists to enjoy an aerial tour of the capital city.

Adventure seekers will be able to enjoy the aerial view of the capital in a 10-15-minute helicopter ride that will cost around Rs 2,499. Captain Rajveer Singh, manager of the Rohini heliport, said, “Yes, we have a facility in our project to allow the general public to take joyrides in helicopters over Delhi. It is expected to act as a good tourist attraction activity and Delhiites, too, will find such joyrides appealing since it is not every day that you get to see your city from the sky.”

A source said, “The Rohini heliport has all the manpower and resources to start joyrides, but a major concern is defining the routes. A little technicality is involved related to finance and revenue. Since Delhi is a sensitive area, there are restricted air zones where no aircraft can enter without permission. A proper plan is required to be put in place before people are freely allowed to explore the skies in Delhi.”

The “AIR89” is a restricted fly-zone in Delhi as per Aeronautical Information Service, Airports Authority of India, under which comes the Rashtrapati Bhawan and surrounding buildings where no aircraft is permitted to fly.

A source said, “There is a proposal to bring down the cost of the helicopter joyrides. At present, operators pay 25% tax to the Delhi government for the Aero Turbine Fuel (aviation fuel used to fly aircraft). If the percentage of tax is brought down to a minimum, the benefits of the Rohini Heliport’s facilities will be able to reach a lot more people.”
05/03/17 Areeba Falak/Sunday Guardian Live