Thursday, November 05, 2020

Bihar assembly polls: Choppers used by politicians choke airport parking space

Patna: As the final phase of Bihar assembly elections draws near, the political parties have been extensively using choppers to hop from one constituencies to another for addressing public meetings.

That creates problems of the parking space at the choked apron of Patna airport. The number of helicopters hired by the political parties has increased from 10-12 in the first phase to 21 for the third phase campaigning.

According to the figures available with the private companies handling the choppers and chartered aircraft, BJP has hired the maximum 13 choppers.

RJD, Congress and JD(U) have hired two choppers each and RLSP and JAP-L one each, said Devendra Kumar, Patna incharge of Aurea Aviation Pvt Ltd. The company also provides technical support to choppers and chartered aircraft hired by senior political leaders at Patna airport.

Devendra said there is always a shortage for parking space for choppers at the airport. “For the helicopters, we do not have organized parking system. Some choppers are accommodated on the Bihar Flying Institute campus,” he said and added, “As we are handling 21 helicopters, 2 or 3 are flying from Gaya airport because of space crunch at Patna airport.”

The airport’s deputy general manager (air traffic management), Santosh Kumar, said there is pressure on space since the choppers, private aircraft and other domestic flights are flying in and out from Patna airport. “There is also shortage of parking space because of the ongoing construction work. However, the officials are managing it,” he said.

05/11/20 Faryal Rumi/Times of India

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