India to map air routes of helicopters

Kochi: Following a string of high-profile helicopter crashes India's ministry for civil aviation has decided to map air routes of helicopters. One such recent crash claimed the life of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four others.

"We have decided to have mapping of routes of helicopters to fly especially after Arunachal Pradesh chief minister's death," civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi said.

Khandu's Pawan Hans chopper crashed on 30 April last at Luguthang ten minutes after take-off from Tawang helipad, killing him and four others on board.

There was a need to increase the connectivity in the North East of the country, he said, as also in different areas where new airports and helicopters services were necessary.

Ravi was speaking at a function at nearby Nedumbassery airport to mark the regional centennial celebrations of civil aviation.

Ravi also said that there were ambitious programmes to add to the number of airports in the country and also to improve them. But the projects needed billions of dollars in investments and so the government preferred the Private Public Partnership route.