Helicopter service between Durgapur-Kolkata begins

helicopter-service-connecting-durgapur-kolkata

The much awaited and much talked about helicopter service between Kolkata and Durgapur begins today (December 30). The first helicopter carrying passengers landed at the Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Andal near Durgapur at around 11.55 am. Intense fog delayed the landing by nearly 30 minutes.

The Bengal government, in arrangement with Pawan Hans Limited has taken up the project of initiating helicopter services between Kolkata and five destinations, which includes Durgapur, Gangasagar, Santiniketan, Malda and Balurghat. Bengal government had signed a MOU with the helicopter major on last 18 March for chopper services to far flung areas in remote districts.

The helicopter service between Kolkata and Durgapur was scheduled to start from last Tuesday and the required police arrangements were made at the helipad for the purpose, but Pawan Hans Limited, the key player, had suddenly called off the trip.

helicopter-service-between-kolkata-durgapur
Helicopter service connecting Durgapur-Kolkata begins

Today the seven-seat helicopter flew to the airport at Andal near Durgapur from Behala Flying Club in Kolkata at around 10.30 am and took nearly an hour to reach Durgapur. A double-engine Dauphin chopper (VT-ELD) manufactured by Eurocopter of France landed on the western part of the runway. State Transport Minister Madan Mitra who was scheduled to be on board the first fleet was however absent.

The Bengal government’s transport department has contracted Bengal Aerotropolis Pvt Ltd (BAPL), the promoters of aertoropolis in Durgapur, to market tickets. BAPL has hired Balaji Travco India Ltd as its authorised agent to handle ticket bookings. Visit: http://helitour.btiholidays.com/ for online purchase.

Initially the one-way fare for the flight has been kept at INR 2,500. BAPL has agreed to underwrite seven seats at Rs 4,200 per seat on the Calcutta-Durgapur route. However this is an initial offer and sometimes from next month, the fare will be INR 4,200, which according to many is too steep to attract passengers.

At a time when there is a big question mark over the completion of the airport at Andal, the beginning of this helicopter service is sure to attract fresh controversy. The airport meant for regular flight services has failed on four consecutive dates to ensure flight operations as it is yet to overcome different bottlenecks arising out of issues of land procurement, finance and the essential DGCA approval for the purpose. Six high tension lines across the runway of the airport at Andal have put the necessary approval from DGCA on hold.

MD of BAPL – the promoter of Rs 10,000 crore airport city in Andal has however termed the whole event as highly encouraging and said, “We are happy that our airport has been chosen as one of the important destinations in the overall ‘district connectivity agenda’ of the state government. We are also actively focusing on comprehensive commercial air connectivity between this region and the rest of the country with full-fledged airline operations and we have provided additional discount on fare for the Kolkata-Durgapur route.”

The airport city, under commissioning since mid-2008, meanwhile has failed on four consecutive dates to start flight operations as it still don’t have the essential DGCA approval for the purpose.

One may recall that on 19 September, Chief Minister Miss Mamata Banerjee, had visited the airport built with the expertise of Changi International and named the airport after rebel poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam.

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11 Comments on Helicopter service between Durgapur-Kolkata begins

  1. please advice me, I want a tkt from shantiniketan to kolkata but how it is possiable ?

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  2. A good number of VOLVO Buses are plying in KOLKATA - DURGAPUR route every day indicates that there is potential viability of Helicopter service. But Boarding and Landing locations to be rescheduled. It should be somewhere at Durgapur near City Centre of nearDSP Township. and ,in other end, in proper Kolkata.Because Behala is far away from central Kolkata and it takes a lot of time to come to central kolkata, specially during office times when chances of trafic congestion is maximum.on the other hand Getting a landing space in By Pass area of Kolkata as well as in Durgapur central is not very difficult.The price of tickit should be within 2000/ to 2500/=..... P.C.Dutta. Bidhan Nagar.Durgapur-12

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  3. Dera Sir,

    I frequently visit Kolkata with my spouse taking Volvo bus service. I got delighted when Copter service from Durgapur to Kolkata was launched. But though I'm keenly interested to use this service but some practical problems have put hindrance on the way to use this beautiful service.

    I stay in City Centre, Durgapur and it is very difficult to go to Andal airport. I don't know whether there is any arrangement for parking my car. The most difficult challenge is the Behala Flying club ground. It is far away and at remote corner of Kolkata. Taking both inward and outward helicopter service from Behala is really a hindrance to common people.

    Many of DSP employees like us are keenly interested to use the helicopter service regularly but inconvenient landing spaces both at Durgapur and Kolkata end have stopped us to use it.

    In view of above, to make the helocopter service more popular, the locations should be changed. In DSP steel township there is a helipad and there are many grounds which can be used as helipad. DSP authority will gladly give the space for this weekly copter service as most of the passengers will be of DSP employees.

    Similarly at Kolkata end, the landing place can be selected at EM Bypass area or any other suitable place in South Kolkata for making the copter service more useful, popular and economically viable. My last suggestion is that, as long the landing places are not being changed, pull cars or buses may be provided at both ends (DGP and Kol) for picking up and dropping of passengers at some prime locations. Otherwise the service will not flourish and we are afraid that the service will be withdrawn after some days showing financial losses by the flying company.

    Thank you

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    • Thank God you didn't suggest a landing pad on top of DSP plant!!! This service is not for DSP employees but the people of Burdwan. Similarly in the other end, do you suggest to make a helipad just in between such tall buildings? You must study some rule and regulations before you suggest something sensible. Secondly, I don't understand why you suggest to throw away an existing facility and trying to re-invent the wheel by investing on another flying club within the city. Lastly, I suggest you to study route of Kolkata first, EM bypass to Central Kolkata and Behala to central Kolkata, do you think there is any difference in distance or travel time? If you don't know atleast ask google before you comment.

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      • Sambhu, you are missing the point. You said the copter service is for people of Burdwan, but the fact is, people of Burdwan do not have that financial freedom to afford such service. Although people living in cities has much less financial issues, generally speaking. Do you have any idea how many people in Burdwan have boarded flight in their lifetime? The answer would be < 0.01%. They cannot even afford to take AC volvo buses, let alone using flight service. Sorry for being so straight-forward, but this is the fact. One thing I surely agree with Mr. Gautam, that the locations of the helipad has to be changed (at least in kolkata) if the copter flight service has to continue.

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  4. Hi...this is swarup..I m coming from dubai to kolkata

    I need a booking the helicopter service on November 25th...
    What is the procedure for booking ur helicopter. ..
    Reply me soon
    Mob no..+9710528927289

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    • Read the article on which you have commented. There you will get to know the Booking Details as well.

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