PANJIM: A helipad alongside Panjim's Mandovi bridge and five more across the state, including at Colva and Old Goa, are set to launch helicopter tourism in Goa.Tourism director Swapnil Naik said the project-mooted unsuccessfully twice before-is banking on ` 3 crore funding from the state and central governments.
"The state government will prepare the infrastructure and will lease it to a company providing helicopter services," Naik said. The sites identified for the helipads are at Aguada, Ela-Old Goa, Panjim, Mollem, Tiracol and Colva. While the state has already made a budgetary provision of ` 1 crore for this financial year, the tourism director said, "We will also avail a scheme from the union government for funds of ` 2 crore."
Asked for the pricing of the sight-seeing helicopter rides, Naik said the state will not play a regulatory role. "It will be at the company's discretion. The state government will give it the freedom to decide on the pricing of packages," he said.
The helipad at Panjim will be built atop a four-storeyed parking lot to be constructed alongside the Mandovi bridge. The building will have parking facilities for two- and four-wheelers and for heavy vehicles. It will also feature a reception area, cafeteria and counters for the cruise boat operations on the Mandovi River.
Sources said that apart from the six spots mentioned, the tourism department had also shown interest in a helipad at Cabo de Rama. The area, however, is a protected archaeological site and the idea has been shelved in view of the daunting task of getting requisite permissions, sources said.
The state government has been flirting with the idea of helicopter tourism in Goa since half a decade. The concept was first mooted in 2006 when Wilfred de Souza was deputy chief minister and tourism minister.
Private companies approached the government two years ago too with similar proposals. Both times the proposals didn't take off and were relegated to the backburner. In fact, the sites at Ela-Old Goa and Aguada were mooted in one of the earlier proposals as well.  "The state government is also open to creating a heli-ambulance service if a proposal comes our way," Naik said.


A to Z said...

Helicopter Tourism ?  This is the best way to commit suicide. Did anybody hear or read the news what happend to the Chief ministers of different states  in India.
Goans should object to the  helipad at Old Goa. Are they trying to bring down the Churches with the noise or would they want the pilgrims to be disturbed. Further more these helicopters will be misued by the ministers for their personal work. Time for Goans to say no to all this.

Anonymous the VIII said...

It is said: "The smaller the brain, the bigger the dream!"
Which tourists come to Goa for a helicopter ride? Are Air Safety standards in Goa on par with International standards? How many seater and which helicopters will be in usage? Are there any emergency helipads or open land available in case of emergency landing? Or will Goan lives and property be put at risk?
Happy Dreams! We could use some rocket technology also next election.

Emediavoice said...

Fantastic ideas to survey the landscape of Goa for the terrorists to map out the potential targets. How about for the land grabbers to plot out the vacant lands of Goa? Mr. Gaunekar with the aid of Madkaikar and ozone group has plotted the island of Vanxim (Divar) hundred of times with clients from other countries.

Diogo Fichardo said...

 It is more of a fools dreams come true, or another source of filling politicians pockets. These type of projects are failure even before it starts. The money would be better used to further educate the struggling poor Goan students, that cannot further their carriers due to poverty.

Gurudas Lotlikar Margao said...

Good take tourists to main attractions such as Ghanti slums, Mega housing projects and at the mines not forgetting garbage dumps and Moti Dongor.

Sicksir said...

Make M. S. Dhoni as the brand ambassador !!!!!   And don't Fly too low and watch out for sixers, in this country thats mad for cricket

Anand Desai Mopa said...

One Puff of charas  before the flight take off, then you get high after take off.

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