India: Jakkur aerodrome in Bangalore to be used for helicopter-tourism

Bangalore - Tourists will be able to use heliport to connect to Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry

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Published: Wed 23 Jun 2021, 10:58 AM

The Jakkur aerodrome in Bangalore will be used for heli-tourism connecting the Karnataka capital to Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and enabling tourists to hop over to these destinations.

Karnataka Tourism has got approval from the Airport Authority of India to use the aerodrome, spread over 200 acres, and five other airstrips for heli-tourism, according to C.P. Yogeshwar, the state’s tourism minister. The new heliport will enable the operation of six helicopters at a time.

The government plans to expand heli-tourism by launching helicopter services to other cities including Mysore, Mangalore, Bellary, Dharwad and Kalaburagi. However, plans to start the service to Mysore have got stalled after environmentalists and the former royal family objected to the cutting of 150 trees in front of the Lalitha Mahal Palace hotel.

Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, a member of the erstwhile royal family, cited a court verdict that said the land was private property. “The proposed felling of trees is unauthorised and amounts to trespassing,” she told the government.

“Thus, drop the unauthorised activity of public hearing, failing which I will be constrained to take steps to safeguard my interest and to save the trees from being felled.”

According to activist M.K. Saptha Girish, constructing a helipad next to Lalit Mahal was bad for sustainable development. “Sixty acres of land surrounding Lalit Mahal host vegetation and about 40 species of host plants, which is home to 180 species of butterflies, including the state butterfly, the Southern Birdwing, which is the biggest butterfly in India,” he said.

There are many other rare species like Malabar Banded Peacock, Scarce Shot Silverline, Indigo Flash, Red Flash, Common Shot Silverline, Red Helen, Lime Swallow Tail, Striped Pierrot, Western Striped Albatross, added Girish.


A security personnel stands next to a light aircraft at Jakkur aerodrome in Bangalore. Photo: AFP
A security personnel stands next to a light aircraft at Jakkur aerodrome in Bangalore. Photo: AFP

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