Visakhapatnam (AP), Aug 25: With an aim to attract more tourists, helicopter rides to three places around the city are expected to start in October this year, Andhra Pradesh minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said here today.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was yesterday signed here between Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) and Sky Choppers Logistics Pvt Ltd in this regard. "Heli-tourism services (to three destinations) from VUDA Park to Kailasagiri, Bheemili and Araku Valley are expected to take off from Dassehra this year," the state HRD minister said.
VUDA would construct a helipad and three rooms on around two acres of land in VUDA Park and would charge Rs 50,000 per month from Sky Choppers for providing these facilities, Rao said. The minister said Rs 2,000 per head are likely to be charged for the VUDA Park-Kailasagiri ride, while it can be Rs 5,000 for Araku ride.
"But the final fares will be fixed in October only," he added. The copter ride from VUDA Park to Kailasagiri and back would take around seven minutes, while the ride to Araku Valley would take for around 20 minutes, Rao said adding, Rs 10 lakh insurance cover would be provided for the travellers in the copter.
C J Chandrasekhar of Sky Choppers said, "Once VUDA completes the helipad, we will obtain clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for operations."
Rao said that plans are afoot for developing 14 places under coastal corridor project with Rs 100 crore investment. "Besides, there is a proposal to develop a tribal circuit tourism at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore," he added.