Flagging off the first helicopter service by Pawan Hans Ltd in Uttarakhand on Wednesday under the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagri-Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN-RCS), Minister of State for Civil Aviation (Independent Charge), said the launch of the helicopter service and opening of new routes will bring people of the state closer and support tourism in the region.
This service will enable connectivity between Dehradun, New Tehri, Srinagar and Gauchar.
Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA, Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA and Sanjeev Razdan, Chairman & Managing Director, Pawan Hans, were present during the virtual flag-off ceremony in New Delhi. The route was simultaneously inaugurated by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand from the state.
Congratulating Rawat and the people of Uttarakhand, Puri added that with this launch, six more routes and two heliports were added at New Tehri and Srinagar.
Commencement of the new helicopter services will enhance the aerial connectivity between hilly regions in Uttarakhand and bring down the average travel time to 20-25 minutes. This will also assist the Chaar Dhaam Yatra pilgrims. Pawan Hans will operate thrice-weekly helicopter services on this route. Viability gap funding (VGF) is provided to both operators and passengers under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable for the common people. Accordingly, the fare for these routes is Rs 2,900 per seat. MoCA awarded the Dehradun-New Tehri-Srinagar-Gauchar route to Pawan Hans under the UDAN-2 bidding process.
Pawan Hans soon will be operationalising two more networks connecting Dehradun to Ramnagar, Pantnagar, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, and Dehradun to Mussoorie.
A total of 274 UDAN routes have been operationalised so far connecting 45 airports and three heliports since the launch of the first flight under the scheme in April 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Shimla to Delhi, informed Puri.
Three rounds of UDAN have already been undertaken and so far nearly 5 million passengers have travelled on such services covering airports in 19 states and two union territories.