ASSAM : Better air connectivity in north-east region

Helicopter service company Pawan Hans is likely to invest Rs 1,500crore for improving the air connectivity and give a boost to tourism in north-east region. The company is also looking to expand its services in the north-east as part of its plans to develop Guwahati as a helicopter hub.

This makes a new chapter to tourism. This project aiming to enhance the tourism facilities through connectivity as culture renovates.Pawan Hans, pioneer in off-shore helicopter operations in India, will make Guwahati in Assam as its hub for development of the region under a proposed 'hub-and-spoke' model and will also set up engineering training and helicopter pilots training institutes in the region, company sources told PTI. The company will add around 20 more carriers to its current fleet of 12 in the north-east over the next three-four years, besides setting up a Maintenance,  Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Assam capital,  

they said The model aims at feeding to   planned   airlines   and   address   the flexibility issues in a systematic manner within the region and a detailed plan in this regard is expected to be unveiled shortly, they said.

At present, it operates 155 weekly flights, connecting 33 destinations across Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland with a dedicated fleet of 12 helicopters.

 "The proposal for hub-and-spoke model is for providing point to point inter-state connectivity between various cities of Assam by using helicopters. Under this model all the important cities within the states will be interconnected by using helicopter with creation of heliports/helipads at small cost, thus reducing the requirement huge expenditure on airports," they said. Passenger can fly directly and without any stop over between any two cities within the NE  region, they said, 

adding such flights will also be very convenient to the business travelers.Sources also said the proposed hub-and-spoke model can be achieved by three-tier helicopter services model in remote districts to the smaller heliports, airfields, regional hubs and helipads, which may be operated depending on the daily/weekly needs to connect various small villages and towns and also promote regional tourism.

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