Helicopter services in Nagaland got a major boost on Wednesday with the addition of a high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter to the existing first helicopter service in the state.
Nagaland minister for transport, civil aviation, railways and land resources P. Paiwang Konyak flagged off the second helicopter service at Dimapur Airport on Wednesday.
The high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter with medical facilities has a sitting capacity for 13 passengers.
The helicopter service in the state will now be operating on 19 routes from the present 10 routes.
Speaking at the induction programme, Paiwang said there will be 75 per cent subsidy in the fare for general passengers and in medical evacuation cases but the VIPs, bureaucrats and government servants will not be entitled to any subsidy as per the directive of the union ministry of home affairs.
Transport secretary Kenilo Apon said the state government had faced a lot of problems during the massive landslides last year.
He said the government had to engage two Indian Air Force (IAF) choppers for evacuation and provide relief to the affected people as the state chopper service was not sufficient.
Following this, he said, minister Konyak took up the issue with the union home ministry which agreed to enhance the flying hours from 480 to 1200 in the state.
Apon expressed gratitude to Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and Paiwang for their initiatives in adding an additional helicopter for the people of the state.
He also urged the civil aviation ministry to ensure that all pilots deputed in the state follow the standard operating guidelines.