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Helicopter services from Madurai shortly

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S. Sundar

MADURAI: Air connectivity between Madurai and Coimbatore will become a reality with the proposed helicopter services between the two cities by November.

Though the helicopter services are aimed at promoting tourism, they can come handy for the corporate and business sector for a quick visit between the cities.

The Madurai Airport Controller, M. Suresh, who participated in a meeting with the Collector, S.S. Jawahar, the Madurai MP, P. Mohan, and officials from Pawan Hans here on Wednesday, told The Hindu that Pawan Hans would initially operate the helicopter services from Coimbatore to Madurai and Udhagamandalam.

“Initially, two 5-seater copters will be operated. They (officials of Pawan Hans) propose to introduce bigger ones based on the growth of patronage,” Mr. Suresh said.

“The fare for each tourist will be around Rs. 4,500. However, the Pawan Hans wants the State Government to subsidise the fare, so that each passenger could have an air journey for around Rs. 3,000,” Mr. Suresh said.

Mr. Jawahar said that he had asked the officials to chalk out an action plan for the earliest introduction of the services from Madurai to Kodaikanal and Rameswaram. Selection of appropriate sites for construction of helipads and facilitation centres would be done in the next few days.

Officials have also proposed “joy rides” at Kodaikanal and Madurai.

“The 10-minute ride will be a new experience for people to have an aerial view of tourist spots at an affordable cost of around Rs. 500,” the Airport Controller said.

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