INDIA’S FIRST HELI-TAXI SERVICE AT KIA
You could soon take a helicopter taxi from Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and reach Electronics City in 15 minutes. Launched by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on August 4 this year, the service is all set to takeoff in three months. KIA is the first airport and Bengaluru is the first city in the country with such a service. Operated by Thumby Aviation Private Ltd, the Heli-Taxi service will initially fly two helicopters, a Bell 412 with two pilots carrying 13 passengers and a Bell 407 with two pilots and five passengers. The fleet will be expanded based on demand. Equating the HeliTaxis to the UDAAN project for regional connectivity, Sinha said the service will ensure quick, seamless transfers to and from the airport at a cost similar to a luxury taxi. Although the fares have not been fixed, the KIA-Electronics City service could be in the range of
3,000 to 4,000, according to Group Captain K.N.G. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, Thumby Aviation. The infrastructure at Electronics City is ready to land the helicopters. About 60,000 passengers pass through KIA every day. Even if 100 of them take the Heli-Taxis, the service will become viable. The operator, based on an extensive pre-launch study, has initially targeted about 60 to 70 passengers daily.