Govt unveils neighbourhood helicopters services

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By Sanjay Singh

New Delhi, October 12: The government has launched major schemes to promote the use of helicopters, small carriers, and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts in India.

Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, while launching a helicopter emergency medical service from AIIMS, Rishikesh, said that as part of ‘Project Sanjeevani’ a helicopter will be available for the emergency services in the close neighbourhood. “One helicopter will be available in AIIMS, Rishikesh, which will be used to recuse and provide emergency medical assistance to patients in a 150-km radius”.

The minister also launched ‘Project Aakash’, a trial service that will help aviation companies holding a Non-Scheduled Operator’s Permit (NSOP) to navigate small planes and helicopters in India using the satellite navigation system GAGAN. He also said that the government has come out with guidelines for fractional ownership of aircraft and helicopters in India to facilitate the movement of NSOP in India.

He added that learnings from ‘Project Sanjeevani’ will also be used to come out with a nationwide National Helicopter Medical Plan in India. The minister also highlighted the government’s decision to come out with guidelines for fractional ownership of aircraft and helicopters will help lower the burden of helicopter and small aircraft ownership in India and is expected to help introduce new helicopter and small aircraft ownership in India.

The minister said that the government is also permitting single-engine helicopters to operate in India and apply for an NSOP. He added that to increase the use of helicopters in India the government is also in talks to make it mandatory for all developers to include helipads as part of development plans for any new national highways.

The minister also said that the government is looking to introduce dedicated helicopter corridors in India after launching three such last year. The government had last year launched three special corridors in India, between Mumbai and Pune, Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, and Shamshabad and Begumpet. “The government is exploring avenues to increase intercity and intracity helicopter connectivity in India,” Scindia said.

Vman Aviation Services IFSC Pvt Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) also signed a letter of Intent at the India-Heli Summit for HAL’s ten Light Utility Helicopters.

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