Monday, October 07, 2019

Hindon terminal to start with Uttarakhand flight

Ghaziabad: After a long wait, commercial flight operations will finally start from the IAF’s Hindon airbase from Friday (October 11). Heritage Aviation, a private player, will operate 9-seater Beechcraft King Air 350 flights six times a week between Hindon airbase and Pithoragarh.
“Hindon’s first commercial flight will be the incoming one from Pithoragarh on Friday with a scheduled arrival time of 12.30pm. Booking for this flight is expected to open from Tuesday,” said Shobha Bhardwaj, director, Hindon civil terminal. The first commercial takeoff from this IAF base will be the same plane leaving for Pithoragarh at 1pm on Friday.
Heritage Aviation currently has only one 9-seater Beechcraft King Air 350 in its fleet and hopes to get another of this turboprop within a month. Stable operations under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) from Hindon will happen only when big players like IndiGo, SpiceJet and Alliance Air start flight operations from here.
Rohit Mathur, Heritage Aviation CEO, said, “We hope to induct our second King Air 350 within a month. We will now operate with one aircraft between Hindon and Pithoragarh six days a week. All nine seats are RCS seats which will be priced at Rs 2,270 (Hindon-Pithoragarh) and Rs 2,470 (Pithoragarh-Hindon).” Heritage was awarded two flights daily on this route, which could happen when the operator’s fleet increases.
While how Heritage Aviation performs remains to be seen, so far RCS performance of small operators has not been encouraging. Players like Air Odisha and Deccan Aviation had got a lion’s share of RCS routes but they did not do well.
AAI has constructed the civil terminal at a cost of Rs 45.2 crore. Hindon’s civil terminal building is air-conditioned and a pre-engineered structure built in an area of 3,500 square metres. The terminal will have a peak capacity to handle 300 passengers per hour (150 departing and as many arriving).
Air traffic control for the regional flights operating from here will be provided by the IAF ATC at Hindon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Hindon civil enclave this March.
07/10/19 Abhijay Jha/Times of India
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