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Helicopter service begins from Lamka to Aizawl

Aizawl: Helicopter service between Lamka (Churachandpur) in Manipur and Aizawl was officially launched as the helicopter which took off from Lamka landed at Mualpui helipad in southern part of Aizawl on Wednesday.

Ten passengers were on board between Lamka and Aizawl flight while 5 passengers from Aizawl landed at Lamka.

Wing Commander Joe Lalhmingliana, Principal Consultant of the state Civil Aviation Wing said that the helicopter service is still shrouded with mystery and lack of mutual understanding between the two neighbouring states as detailed information is still not available with the Mizoram government.

“Pilot of the helicopter who landed in Aizawl on Wednesday said that he does not know when the next flight will be,” Lalhmingliana said. 

He said that Mizoram government still is in the dark about frequency of the flights. “It was suggested by the Manipur government earlier that 2 flights will be in a week, which was regarded as too less. After consulting public leaders in Churachandpur district, Mizoram government proposed for 5 flights in a week,” he said.

Manipur government is yet to respond to the proposal for five flights a week, he said, adding, “Our plea to the Manipur Transport department, which handles the helicopter flights, to send boarding passes and tickets was also not fulfilled till launching in the helicopter service on Wednesday.”

He said that the tickets issued to five passengers who departed from Aizawl were photocopies of the photo of tickets sent by Manipur Transport department online.

The reason for butterfingered handling of the helicopter flights by Manipur government may be due to disinterest on the part of the neighbouring state or due to the task being given to the Transport department which does not have any expertise in handling flights, he said.

He expressed the hope that the helicopter service will smoothen after a few more flights in the near future.

The ministry of home affairs gave its go-ahead to interstate helicopter service between Churachandpur district of Manipur and Mizoram capital Aizawl to help people travel by air between the two Mizo-Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-inhabited areas.

Under Secretary of the MHA, Prem Prakash, conveyed the permission for the commencement of flight operations under the existing 75% Helicopter Subsidy scheme to the Manipur chief secretary on August 11. 

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Zoram Chronicle