Aizawl (mizonews.net): After successful trials, the much-awaited Mizoram helicopter service was officially inaugurated yesterday by Chief Minister Lalthanhawla here at Thuampui helipad. Passenger service will start from August 16.
Lalthanhawla said the service is important for a hilly state like Mizoram which still lacks in proper infrastructure, transport and other means of communication. The helicopter service will not only help the VIPs, but will come in handy for the common people especially in time of emergency.
“It is indeed thankful that helicopter service is launched in Mizoram now,” the Chief Minister said.
The permission to use the helipads under military administration in the 1990s was given to Mizoram government by GOC-in-C, Eastern Command.
Stating that the safety of the passengers and the flight will be a priority, the Chief Minister said safety standards should always be met.
Pawan Hans Managing Director MP Singh said that the best possible service will be rendered for the people of Mizoram, adding that the same service is rendered in Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Nicobar and Lakhwadeep.
The helicopter will be in service to 9 different places of Mizoram from Aizawl.
Wet leasing of a helicopter for one year is Rs. 1308 lakhs, of which 25% (Rs.327 lakhs) will be given by Mizoram government, and the rest 75% (Rs.981 lakhs) is to be given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The helicopter can carry 11 passengers but will be allowed to carry only 6 passengers since Mizoram is located at a very high altitude from the sea level.
After the inauguration programme, Lalthanhawla and Home Minister R.Lalzirliana took their wives for the first flight and landed at Lunglei and then back to Thuampui Helipad.
The helicopter service will function under the supervision of Pawan Hans Helicopter Ltd.; and the helicopter which will be in service is ‘Dauphin Helicopter’.
One ticket will cost Rs 50 per minute. As of now, 9 routes is arranged for the service, with Aizawl Thuampui Helipad being the “Main Operational Hub’, from where it will render service to Saiha (50 minutes), Lawngtlai (50), Champhai (25), Khawzawl (20), Lunglei (30), Kamlanagar (45), Hnahthial (30), Serchhip (17) and Kolasib (15).
As per schedule, the copter will render service for 6 days in a week. Ticket will be available at DC offices in the eight districts of the state. Since safety is the main concern, security duty and fire service will be provided at each helipad. The concerned Deputy Commissioners are directed to construct ‘temporary waiting sheds’ for use in time of need.
The helicopters can be hired or chartered personally, for which the rate will be Rs.70,000 per hour, waiting charge free up to 45 minutes; but if it crosses the limit the waiting charge will be Rs. 10,000 per 30 minutes.
Keywords: Latest Mizoram News