It's close to five months but the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation's (APTDC) much-boasted helicopter ride service covering historic and tourist spots in the capital fails to take off.
Interestingly, Tourism Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar had launched the service at Begumpet airport on September 27 – the World Tourism Day.
The service was launched as part of tourism promotion and providing an opportunity for tourists and commoners to enjoy aerial view of different landmarks, including Birla Mandir, Golconda Fort, Charminar, Salar Jung Museum, Tank Bund etc.
APTDC had entered into an agreement with Deccan Aviation Private Limited for operating BEL-47 helicopter as part of the service. Ever since the launch, not a single trip was operated and APTDC blames the private company for delay in conducting the trips.
Deccan Aviation Private Limited should take permissions and No Objection Certificate from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). For reasons better known to the Deccan authorities, they are delaying the service, citing different reasons, says a senior official of APTDC.
Under the agreement, APTDC was to construct a helipad near Snow World, operate a booking counter and obtain clearance from Fire Department. All these things were completed even before the launch, says the official.
“Despite the delay, APTDC is very keen in conducting the service and the onus is on Deccan Aviation to obtain the mandatory permissions. We are in touch them,” he adds. The fare for fifteen-minute ride was fixed at Rs. 2,950 per person and authorities were planning to operate the trips from the open place near Snow World.
Keywords: Andhra Pradesh tourism