Helitourism likely to take off  in Tirupati 

Helitourism likely to take off  in Tirupati 
Highlights

Helitourism, which is in the offing in the wake of an MoU inked between the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) and a Delhi-based airliner recently, is expected to give a big boost to temple tourism with Tirupati as the pivot in the Rayalaseema region. 

Tirupati: Helitourism, which is in the offing in the wake of an MoU inked between the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) and a Delhi-based airliner recently, is expected to give a big boost to temple tourism with Tirupati as the pivot in the Rayalaseema region.

The MoU inked with Mak Aero Space and Aviation Pvt Ltd raised hopes over the prospects of temple tourism in and around Tirupati. If all goes well on expected lines, helitourism will become a reality by the time of upcoming Brahmotsavams, according to APTDC Divisional Manager RV Suresh Reddy.

The APTDC got into preparing packages with helirides covering Gandikota in Kadapa district, Kanipakam and Sri Kalahasti with Tirupati as the originating point. Efforts have been underway to build temporary helipads. More packages will be offered covering Tirupati-Vijayawada, irupati-Srisailam and other routes in the near future if the project draws good response, the official said.

A few aviation companies have approached the APTDC recently with an expression of interest to operate helicopters for tourism purpose covering the temples and historical places with a potential in the region to attract tourists from far and wide.

As per the MoU, the Mak Aero Space and Aviation will operate services, while the APTDC will provide the infrastructure like helipads, passenger amenities and related services. Initially, a six-seater helicopter is proposed to be introduced and the number of seats will go up later depending on the response from visitors.

The APTDC has already acquired the land from Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) near Shilparamam for building a helipad and providing passenger amenities. A delegation from the Mak Aero Space and Aviation will visit Tirupati for a feasibility study soon as a follow-up to the MoU. Recognising the potential for temple tourism, the APTDC proposed to build a permanent helipad in Tirupati.

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