HeliTaxi-An Expensive yet Interesting way to avoid Bengaluru’s crazy trafficMar 12, 2018
When everything falls apart, it is better to laugh your head off rather than cribbing about it. This is the plight of every Bangalorean who is tired of being struck in a traffic jam almost every day. A lot of jokes and funny memes are being cracked mocking at the traffic hubs of Bangalore. Though a lot of plans are executed to ease the commute in the city, the traffic has always triumphed over it. For anyone who tries to take a flight from Bangalore, the time taken to reach the airport from his residence is often more than the duration of the flight.
Recently, Bengaluru has delighted the people by offering 15-minute Helicopter services from Electronic city to Kempe Gowda International Airport. This app based air-taxi service started to help the traffic victims from 5th of March 2018. The trips are scheduled during peak traffic time from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6:15pm. Two Bell 407 Helicopters have been introduced with the capacity of six people. As of now, the commute is between Bengaluru airport and Electronic City. There are plans to include HAL Airport in the next two weeks.
The garden city turned silicon city is the first to introduce the air-taxi service in the country. The Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha announced the plan to launch the service earlier in August 2017. It is operated by KIA in partnership with Thumby Aviation Pvt Ltd, in an effort to reduce the 2-hour journey from Electronic city to the Airport.
The helicopter began its maiden trip on Monday (5th of March) at 6:30 am followed by another shift on the same day. A Goa-based Businessman was one of the first customers of the HeliTaxi service. He was happy to travel almost 50 km in 15 minutes, whereas if had used the road at 3:30 pm, it would have taken more than 15 minutes to cover just 1 km. He flies to Bangalore frequently and said that he will opt for this service more in future.
How does it work?
If you are looking for a seat in HeliTaxi, it can be availed using the app (Heli Taxi). The fare is ?4,130 per person, including GST. The luggage allowance is up to 15 kg and anything over that will be shipped at extra cost. Once the passengers reach KIA, a four-minute ride will take them from the Helipad to the Departure segment. This short ride is operated by the company vehicle. On the other hand, for the passengers who arrive at KIA, the same service ferries the passengers from the Arrival lounge to the HeliTaxi zone within the KIA premises. The other Helipad at Electronic city is located in Thumby Aviation’s Zone in Phase I, near the toll plaza.
Services in future
At present, the service is limited as there is only one helicopter operating. The city has nearly 90 helipads and is waiting for approval from DGCA. Once they are open, the service will be extended to other parts of the city. The officials claim that service will not interfere with the air traffic of the international airport. They have been issued a different route, approved by the Ministry of Defense and Airports Authority of India.
Although the Heli-service is priced high, it is a boon to those people who feel that “Time is Gold”.