Pune: Having a bird’s eye view of Pune is not beyond the common man’s reach now! Puneites and tourists from outside the city will get an opportunity to book a helicopter ride for an aerial view of Pune twice in a month.
A city-based private company has taken the initiative for a 10-minute adventurous joyride in a chopper around the city. This ride was launched for commoners recently for two days. It started from a farmhouse near the Mercedes Benz showroom on the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway. It flew over Sus-Pashan Road and the hilly area in Bavdhan. Over 50 local residents availed the facility during the two days. The ride costs Rs 3,500 per head for 10 minutes. The helicopter has a capacity of four persons plus the pilot.
“Many metropolitan cities have started this new way of site-seeing under their tourism activities. Pune is one of the fastest growing cities. We wanted to give locals and tourists a different experience of the city. This will work as an attraction and boost local tourism,” said Sudhir Mandke, Founder President of Mandke and Mandke Group.
“We have acquired the non-scheduled operator’s permit (NSOP) to fly across India. Also, we had taken all prior precautions and required permissions from the Indian Air Force and other authorities. We avoided sensitive areas in Pune during our first tours such as army establishments, etc.,” said Shailendra Deokule, Sales Executive of the company.
The private company is planning to arrange helicopter rides on weekends for the public. They have sent a proposal to start weekend rides. At present, people can avail this facility twice a month.
Aviation Expert and Analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar said, “The trend of aerial tours of cities has slowly picked up in our country like in western countries. Many metropolitan cities have started hosting such tourist attractions for commoners and Pune being a booming city, it is a good initiative.”
“If the concerned tourism agency has taken permissions from the authorities, they can conduct the activity. It is only required to keep in mind security issues of some sensitive places in the city,” Vandekar added.