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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Businesses in Indian Province Want Air Taxi Services

COMMERCIAL/AIR TAXI

Air taxi services are in demand in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. According to media reports, tourists and businesses alike say a better air taxi would provide better connectivity in the region.

The completion of a interstate road link from Baddi to Chandigarh has been delayed. Although the Himachal government has completed its part, the government of Punjab state has yet to finish its portion. Without proper roads, it takes more than 2 hr to reach Baddi.

Special incentive packages from the state have spurred more than 9,000 industrial investment proposals, which have been provisionally registered or approved for small-, medium-, and large-scale industries.

Leading business officials argue that since Himachal Pradesh, in northwest India, is a landlocked region, air links are important not only for tourism but also for commerce.

According to these officials, there are 61 helipads in the state that could be used to increase tourism, and four more are being developed. The implementation of an air taxi service is now dependent on private operators. Tourism already has increased significantly in the area.

Business leaders in the state also want existing airports expanded to receive larger aircraft. At present, only three scheduled airline flights serve the state.

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