The Bold Voice of J&K

LG invites Industry Captains to be partners in J&K’s transformational journey


4th Heli-India Summit at Srinagar


SRINAGAR: Saying that Jammu and Kashmir Administration is committed to facilitate and help in the growth of Heli operations, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Monday invited Industry Captains to be partners in this transformational journey.
“Various scenic destinations in Jammu Kashmir witnessing year-round tourist influx, which has the potential to boost Heli-Tourism market in the Union Territory”, the Lieutenant Governor said while addressing the the 4th edition of Heli-India Summit here at SKICC, Srinagar.

Srinagar Airport Terminal to be expanded 3 times its present size: Scindia
SRINAGAR: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday said the present terminal at the Srinagar airport will be expanded three times from 20,000 square metres to 60,000 square metres at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
He said the decrease in VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 26.5 per cent to one per cent by the J-K administration has set a new dawn for air connectivity in the Union Territory.
“A civil enclave will be built in Jammu at a cost of Rs 861 crore and the Srinagar’s present terminal will be expanded three times to 60,000 square metres at a cost of Rs 1,500 crores,” Scindia said after inaugurating the 4th Heli-India Summit 2022 with the theme ‘Helicopters for last Mile Connectivity’ at SKICC here.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was present on the occasion.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing a “revolution” in the civil aviation sector in India from 2014 onwards, the Union minister said from 1947 to 2014, the country had only 74 airports, but now the number has increased to 141, with 67 added in last seven years.
The government is committed to increase the number to over 200 in the next few years, he added.
Scindia said the civil aviation has now become the need of the hour not only for India but for humankind across the world as it always brings with it two important multipliers, the economic multiplier and the employment multiplier.
The sector has a huge impact with economic multiplier of 3.1 and employment multiplier of 6, the minister said.
Therefore, the civil aviation across the world today forms a very important cog of the wheel of economic development, he added.
Scindia said helicopters have multifarious roles, providing urban connectivity, which is no more an elitist prerogative in India but is based on the prime minister’s vision ‘Sab Ude, Sab Jude’.
The other roles of helicopter service has been the emergency medical services and disaster management during floods, rescue operations etc, he said.
Scindia said the decrease in VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) from 26.5 per cent to one per cent by the J-K administration has set a new dawn for air connectivity in the Union territory with 360 percent increase in refuelling, thus increasing the air connectivity to J-K.
The UT has set an example of the best use of helicopter service when it erected transmission lines and towers using heli-cranes (sky cranes) on the Peer Panjal mountain range, Scindia said.
The Union minister said the guidelines on fractional ownership model have been released to help grow the non-scheduled operations.
“While our scheduled operations are on the fast track and we have increased the fleet size from 400 aeroplanes in 2013 to more than 700 in 2021-22, through these guidelines, we should be able to spur growth in the non-scheduled fleet too.
“Fractional ownership will lower the barrier on the cost of acquisition of helicopters and aeroplanes through pooled capital by multiple owners. This will allow companies and individuals to minimise their capital outflow by sharing the purchase cost, reducing their exposure to risks and making it financially easier to run a NSOP business,” he said.
Fractional ownership model has the potential to energise the NSOP segment by democratising ownership of aircraft and it can be a key driver to boost the number of aircraft existing in the NSOP industry, Scindia said.
The helicopter industry should be recognised for its social service. It is not a transportation vehicle but a transformation tool. It can be used not only for economic development but could also be used to transform lives, he added.
Scindia said the government has also decided to incubate a helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) pilot called ‘Project Sanjeevani’ by deploying a helicopter in the next few weeks to provide emergency medical services at AIIMS Rishikesh.
The helicopter will be based at the hospital at 20 minute notice and will have a service cover to an area of 150 km radius, he said.
It is the intention of the government to expand medical outreach and access to trauma care services to a wider population base across the country using the speed advantage and mobility of helicopters, he said.
We will use the learnings from Project Sanjeevani to explore the viability of the concept, its benefits and the attendant risks and later articulate a national policy on HEMS before committing larger resources, the minister said.

Organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India with the support of the Government of J&K, Pawan Hans Ltd. and FICCI, the Summit on the theme “Helicopters for Last Mile Connectivity” brought together various stakeholders of the helicopter industry and provided a common platform to discuss the growth of the Helicopter industry, the issues, challenges, and solutions for the future.
Sinha commended the work of Union Civil Aviation Ministry, Pawan Hans Ltd. and FICCI for promoting Heli Services as a means of public transport for both passengers and cargo to boost last mile connectivity.
Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Civil Aviation Minister was also present on the occasion.
Welcoming the stakeholders of Civil aviation sector and Helicopter industry from across the country to Jammu and Kashmir, the Lt Governor observed that the Heli India Summit will play a significant role in promoting Heli-seva as last mile connectivity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured Nav-Nirman of J&K UT with robust infrastructure, road-connectivity to all villages, housing, rural electrification and full utilization of natural and human resources to meet the demands of the modern society, the Lt Governor observed.
Gati Shakti-National Master Plan is paving the way for coordinated implementation of infrastructure schemes like Bharatmala, Sagarmala and UDAN, he added.
Highlighting the reforms introduced by the Prime Minister, the Lt Governor said, “Country’s aviation sector has witnessed an unprecedented growth in passenger traffic and corresponding increase in number of flight routes, aircrafts and enhanced regional air connectivity to fulfill the aspirations of the common man by following the vision of Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik”.
In a short span of time, 65 airports, 8 heliports and 2 water aerodromes were made operational in tier-2 and tier-3 cities under the guidance of the Prime Minister and soon India will cross over into the top 10 air freight markets in the near future, he added.
The Lt Government reiterated the UT government’s commitment to improve connectivity, particularly in remote & far flung areas and providing affordable transportation to the people of the UT. Rs. 1 lakh crore is being spent on road and tunnel infrastructure, which are opening up new vistas of socio-economic growth of J&K, he added.
Significant decisions like reduction of VAT on ATF from 26.5% to 1% and abolishing the load penalty at Jammu airport has revived J&K’s Civil aviation sector. Today, Srinagar airport is setting a new record in terms of number of flights per day. Within a year, from 20-25 daily flights, today 80 to 100 flights are operating at Srinagar airport every day, the Lt Governor said.
After the decision to abolish load penalty at Jammu airport, the number of flights has increased, the citizens of Jammu division have got better and economical facilities to travel to Delhi and other parts of the country, and the business sector has also gained new dynamism, he further added.
We have already laid down the road map to fulfill the aspirations of every section of society. A lot has been achieved in the last three years. Remarkable progress in Infrastructure and other sectors present a tremendous opportunity for J&K UT to realize its full potential, the Lt Governor said.
Achievements in tourism sector, development of 75 offbeat destinations enabling us to accelerate our development process and to utilize the energies and talents of human capital, he added.
The Lt Governor said, Inclusive development provides UT of J&K considerable leverage in pursuing the objective of Aatma-Nirbhar J&K. Today we have a rapidly growing economy, expanding market for agriculture & allied sectors and widening industrial base to integrate J&K’s economy into the country’s mainstream.
The broad objectives of the Summit are to create a world-class helicopter manufacturing ecosystem in India; promote tourism in the Himalayan states by providing uninterrupted helicopter services to the tourist hotspots; encourage Helicopter-based emergency medical services (HEMS) and enhancing the role of Helicopters in supporting other industries.
Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, in his welcome address briefed on the steps taken by the Civil Aviation Ministry in providing air connectivity and heli services to un-served and potential regions. He also gave details of the day long technical sessions.
Remi Maillard, Chairman FCCI- Civil Aviation Committee and President & MD Air Bus India expressed his commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with Government in India for the growth and progress of heli services in India.
Usha Padhee, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) presented the Vote of thanks.
Various initiatives of the Ministry of Civil Aviation were also launched on the occasion. Representatives from the entire spectrum of industries, various States/ UTs, government departments, defence services, experts, delegates, AAI, Pawan Hans, Team of MoCA and various stakeholders attended the Summit at SKICC.
Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Civil Aviation, J&K; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department and senior officials were present on the occasion.

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