Health Care

India's first helicopter taxi service announced in Bengaluru

India's first helicopter taxi service announced in Bengaluru”

A Kerala-based aviation firm on Friday announced helicopter services from the Bengaluru worldwide airport to the software hub of Electronic City bringing hopes of faster travel to frequent flyers.

Those who have grown to dread the trip to or from Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) can now breathe easy.

"Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, speaking after launching the service said the government is working towards making the convenience of air travel accessible to as many Indians as possible". Initially, the services will be between KIA and Electronics City, where a heliport is expected to come up. "We want to have efficient seamless transfers at affordable costs from the airport to the city's business hubs like Electronic City, which on road takes about two-and-a-half hours, this travel time can be reduced to about 10-15 minutes", said Sinha.

Summary: Announced on Friday, the service, which will be operated by Thumby Aviation Private Limited, is expected to take off within three months.

There are about 300 heli-taxis operating in Sau Paulo, Brazil. "My appeal to the operators is to fix the price in a way that the heli-taxi service remains competitive". The company also has plans to start the services at Whitefield and HAL airports in future.

"We will seek regulatory approvals to offer soon an integrated transfer service between the airport and the city as part of our passenger-friendly initiatives", said Raghavan.

The prices, which are yet to be fixed, are likely to be calculated based on the interest shown. The company will price the service competitively. Current fares for an air-conditioned taxi between KIA and Electronics City range between ₹1,500 to ₹2,500 for a 50-km ride. KIA is also open to supporting other companies that would like to take up similar heli-taxi services to and from the city.

There are around 90 rooftop helipads in the city, however only one helipad at the ITC Royal Gardenia located on Residency Road has got the operational clearance from the civil aviation regulatory authorities.

RV Deshpande, Karnataka's Minister for Large and Medium Industry, Subhash Chandra Kuntia, Chief Secretary of Karnataka were present at the press conference.

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