Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on 8 February operationalized the first ever helicopter services from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar, and Chinyalisaur under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of Government of India.
Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttrakhand and Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA.
The inauguration of the heli routes in the Uttrakhand region is in line with the objective of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to enhance the aerial connectivity of the hilly areas in the country.
MoCA awarded the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route to Heritage Aviation under the UDAN 2 bidding process.
Heritage Aviation will operate helicopter services from Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur twice daily.
For the Heli services, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is provided under UDAN to keep the fares affordable for the common people.
The State Government of Uttrakhand is also providing additional incentives to make the scheme more attractive.
The helicopter services from the Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur had been the long pending demand of the people residing in the hilly areas.
The services on this route will boost the tourism sector in the Uttrakhand region and will also assist the Chaar Dhaam Jatra pilgrims as Gauchar is en route to Badrinath and Chinyalisaur is en route to Gangotri in the Uttarkashi district.
Heli services under UDAN are currently being operationalised between Chandigarh to Shimla, Shimla to Dharamshala & Shimla to Kullu.
With the commencement of the Sahastradhara-Gauchar-Chinyalisaur route, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized 260 routes under UDAN.
Furthermore, Pawan Hans Limited (PHL) is also going to commence the operations under UDAN from Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun to New Tehri, Srinagar (Chamoli, UK) & Gauchar. With an aim to efficiently connect high priority regions (NER, Hilly States, J&K, Ladakh, and Islands) for the masses, MoCA recently invited the 4th round of bidding under UDAN which is under progress.
Senior officials of MoCA and State Government were also present at the inauguration of the route.