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Aviation Ministry looks at Chopper services in cities

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NEW DELHI: People living in congested and metro cities in India may soon have an option of flying over congested stretches. Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday his ministry should look at an option of launching helicopter operations in congested and metro cities.

“The minister mooted the idea of launching helicopter services in congested cities and from metro cities to hinterland with big capacity choppers,” said a senior government official, who was part of the meeting but did not want to be identified.

Currently, Bengaluru is the only city in India that provides helicopter connectivity between the airport and electronics city, which has helped reduce commute time from 2 hours by road to 15 minutes by helicopter. Prabhu took the additional charge as the aviation ministry on Monday, has been held meetings with all key departments under the ministry during the week.

Among other suggestions, He has also suggested developing a framework of deregulation for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) along with the industry, which will go a long way in achieving ease of doing business for the aviation sector. 

Upon joining Prabhu had said that the aviation sector has a lot of potential and the development that the sector has seen is just a trailer. “The growth in aviation is just a trailer. As rail minister, I feared the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme of providing one hour of flight at Rs 2,500/hour. But competition between sectors is also required,” Prabhu had said on the day of taking charge as the aviation minister.

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