Nagaland minister P Paiwang Konyak flagging off the state’s second helicopter service at Dimapur Airport on Wednesday Credit: DIPR

Kohima: Nagaland minister of transport, civil aviation, railways and land resources P Paiwang Konyak on Wednesday flagged off the state’s second helicopter service at Dimapur Airport. The high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter has a seating capacity of 13 passengers with medical facilities.

In his address, Nagaland transport secretary Kenilo Apon said that the state government has faced a lot of problems during the massive landslides last year, and had to engage two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters to meet the challenges of evacuation and relief. This was because chopper services are not sufficient in the state, Apon added.

Following this, the minister had taken up the issue with the Union home ministry to enhance flying hours from 480 hours to 1200 hours.

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Apon further urged the managing director of civil aviation to ensure that all pilots deputed in the state are following the standard operating guidelines. With the additional helicopter service, flights will now be operated on 19 routes as against the previous 10.

Meanwhile, common passengers and medical evacuation cases can avail themselves of 75% subsidy although VIPs and bureaucrats/ government servants will not be entitled for such subsidies, as per the directive from the Union ministry of home affairs.

Following the flag-off, minister Konyak along with other officials went for a short chopper ride with Captain Mukesh and Captain Nair.

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