Fly in and out of Hin­don air­base from Oc­to­ber 11

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Ab­hi­[email protected] times­group.com

Ghazi­abad: Af­ter a long wait, com­mer­cial flight op­er­a­tions will fi­nally start from the IAF’s Hin­don air­base from Fri­day. Her­itage Avi­a­tion, a pri­vate player, will oper­ate 9-seater Beechcraft King Air 350 flights six times a week be­tween Hin­don air­base and Pithor­a­garh.

“Hin­don’s first com­mer­cial flight will be the in­com­ing one from Pithor­a­garh on Fri­day with a sched­uled ar­rival time of 12.30pm. Book­ing for this flight is ex­pected to open from Tues­day,” said Shobha Bhard­waj, di­rec­tor, Hin­don civil ter­mi­nal. The first com­mer­cial take­off from this IAF base will be the same plane leav­ing for Pithor­a­garh at 1pm on Fri­day.

Her­itage Avi­a­tion cur­rently has only one 9-seater Beechcraft King Air 350 in its fleet and hopes to get an­other of this tur­bo­prop within a month. Sta­ble op­er­a­tions un­der the re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity scheme (RCS) from Hin­don will hap­pen only when big play­ers like IndiGo, SpiceJet and Al­liance Air start flight op­er­a­tions from here.

Ro­hit Mathur, Her­itage Avi­a­tion CEO, said, “We hope to in­duct our sec­ond King Air 350 within a month. We will now oper­ate with one air­craft be­tween Hin­don and Pithor­a­garh six days a week. All nine seats are RCS seats which will be priced at Rs 2,270 (Hin­donPithor­a­garh) and Rs 2,470 (Pithor­a­garh-Hin­don).” Her­itage was awarded two flights daily on this route, which could hap­pen when the op­er­a­tor’s fleet in­creases.

While how Her­itage Avi­a­tion per­forms re­mains to be seen, so far RCS per­for­mance of small op­er­a­tors has not been en­cour­ag­ing. Play­ers like Air Odisha and Dec­can Avi­a­tion had got a lion’s share of RCS routes but they did not do well.

AAI has con­structed the civil ter­mi­nal at a cost of Rs 45.2 crore. Hin­don’s civil ter­mi­nal build­ing is air-con­di­tioned and a pre-en­gi­neered struc­ture built in an area of 3,500 square me­tres. The ter­mi­nal will have a peak ca­pac­ity to han­dle 300 pas­sen­gers per hour (150 de­part­ing and as many ar­riv­ing).

Air traf­fic con­trol for the re­gional flights op­er­at­ing from here will be pro­vided by the IAF ATC at Hin­don. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had in­au­gu­rated the Hin­don civil en­clave this March.

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