Helicopter services had been used for emergencies purposes
During the question and answer session in the national assembly last Friday, Member of Parliament from Boomdeling-Jamkhar Constituency MP, Dupthob, questioned to Minister for Information and Communications about the transparency of the Bhutan Helicopter Services and also fulfilling its goals and objectives in the country.
In response to the question, minister for information and communication, Lyonpo D N Dungyel said that within six months of the helicopter services made 38 flights solely for medical service assistance bringing patient referred from other Dzongkhags to Thimphu National Referral Hospital, but could made only one flight for critical situation, four flights were made for fighting forest fire purposes, 31 flights for official tour, which includes eight flights used by Prime Minister while visiting other Dzongkhags, five flights by other minister and another eight flights by other VIP while visiting in the country.
Lyonpo also added that within six month of establishment of helicopter services in the country, 32 flights has been availed the services by the general public and 36 flights has been availed by the tourist.
Lyonpo added that the monthly expenditure for the helicopter was on an average Nu.5.5 million and the monthly revenue earned from the services was Nu.6.55million earning a net-profit of more than one million monthly. While, the revenue was calculated till the end of March 2016.
Lyonpo added that helicopter was also used for the transportation of electrical equipments and till now 10 metric tons of electrical equipments had been transported for rural electrification from Paro to Lingzhi Dungkhag under Thimphu Dzongkhag.
Till now, about 3,3100 foreign exchange has been earned. For domestic purpose, Lyonpo said that for the availing of services, they are charging only Nu.1, 7800 per hour and for the tourist, they are charging US$5,250 per hour.
Lyonpo added that today we do have some villages in the country which are not connected to motor able road, so government is providing the services with subsidize rate with Nu.64, 600 per hour.
Meanwhile, Lyonpo informed to the house that another second helicopter will be arriving in the country within three weeks.