The helicopter tourism initiative was one of the most hyped and most watched out for tourism project for Vizag. Lot of promises were made and word of mouth created. Unfortunately for those anticipating it, the helicopter of tourism dreams has not taken off. It has been more than a year and several deadlines past. Reports point finger at lack of clarity on the issue and delay in permission from Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Last year around this time was the first deadline for the project but it has been long since. The first MoU between VUDA and Sky Choppers agency was inked around this time. Excuses and reasons are many. Some of these are – bad weather conditions, uncertain responses of aviation agencies, busy work scheduling of other projects etc. Sky Choppers for helicopter has been replaced by Pawan Hans in yet another MoU but there is no headway yet.
Two of the biggest issues that have grounded the helicopter tourism initiative are the cost and the clearances. A very doubt is also raised about the response from tourists and others. The cost of running a helicopter is Rs.80,000 per hour. A tourist would end up paying Rs.2500 for 10 minute helicopter ride. The plan is to launch a 5 seater single engine helicopter. If the response is good, a further investment in a double engine helicopter will be done.
Header Image Credits : luxurytravelvietnam.com