Friday, January 08, 2016

MTDC, Pawan Hans kick off aerial joyrides

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Pawan Hans on Thursday started helicopter joy rides affording an aerial view of Mumbai.
The first flight took off at about 3pm on Thursday and had a 60-year-old woman as one of its passengers. Sarita Aswaani was accompanied by her daughter Sanjana and husband Kishin. “For the past two months, I was hearing about these joy rides in newspapers and I got in touch with Pawan Hans people who finally called me Wednesday evening to inform that they were starting the rides from Thursday. Luckily, my wife’s 60th birthday is on January 7 so it is the best gift I could have given her,” Kishin said.
However, Nandan Kolegaonkar, CEO, Yagna Aviation Pvt. Ltd. expressed concern that the Bell 206 being a non-AC aircraft can affect senior citizens as the pollution level of the city is high and passengers can feel suffocated.
The helicopter ride costs Rs 3,200 (inclusive of taxes) per passenger for a 10 minute spin. On Thursday, 30 passengers took the joyride while bookings for Friday are already 70 per cent occupied. The helicopter tours will initially be restricted to Mumbai and later, extended to other tourist destinations like Elephanta Island, Ajanta-Ellora and Shirdi in a month. Pawan Hans officials said every day, 18 sorties would be conducted between 10 am and 4 pm using the Bell-206 aircraft. The aircraft will take off from runway 027 for north Mumbai and when this runway is closed for maintenance, they will take off from runway 014 for south Mumbai.
08/01/16 Ashita Dadheech/Asian Age
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