Nagaland Transport Minister, P Paiwang Konyak, recently flagged off the second state helicopter service from Dimapur Airport. The chopper having a seating capacity of 13 passengers, with medical facilities, will operate on 19 routes from the present 10 routes covering all the districts.
The Minister said that as per the directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs, only common passengers and medical evacuation cases would be able to avail 75 percent subsidy on the passenger fare. VIPs, bureaucrats and government servants will not be entitled for subsidies.
Transport Secretary, Kenilo Apon, said that in addition to the service of one helicopter that was flying 480 hours per year, Nagaland would now have two chopper services with 1200 flying hours annually. The Centre sanctioned the additional helicopter service under the Ministry of Home Affairs subsidy scheme.
Apon also stated the State government faced a lot of problems during the massive landslides last year. 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, Minister Konyak took up the issue with the Union Home Ministry that agreed to enhance the flying hours from 480 to 1200 in the State. Apon expressed gratitude to Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio and Paiwang for their initiatives in adding an additional helicopter for the people of the State. He urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure that all pilots deputed in the State follow the standard operating guidelines.