Direct helicopter services from Doon to Auli this winter | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Direct helicopter services from Doon to Auli this winter

“We have decided to start helicopter services from Dehradun to Auli for tourists from this season. If needed, new helipads will also be constructed,” tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said.“Tourists coming directly to Jolly Grant can avail helicopter services from there itself and those coming directly to Dehradun can take flight from Shastradhara.”

dehradun Updated: Oct 05, 2017 20:07 IST
Prithviraj Singh
The ski slopes at Auli are a favourite among winter sports lovers in the country.
The ski slopes at Auli are a favourite among winter sports lovers in the country.(HT File Photo)

DEHRADUN: Skiing and trekking enthusiasts will now be able to avail helicopter service this winter to fly directly to Auli from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport.

The tourism department has come up with a plan to provide helicopter services in order to promote winter tourism and enable ski lovers to fly straight to Auli from Dehradun and Shastradhara-based Heli Drome. In February, Union minister Nitin Gadkari had floated an idea of developing a Davos-like city at Auli.

Sources in the tourism department said Dehradun tourists and skiing lovers who arrive to visit Auli ski field often get disheartened on learning that they have to undertake journey on road for more than 16-17 hours in harsh hill terrain. This, the sources said, made the department offer helicopter services to such tourists allowing them to enjoy adventurous stay at an altitude of more than 12,000 ft at Auli and its surrounding areas encompassing the upper Himalayas.

The helicopter services for Auli will also help the Uttarakhand government to promote and sustain its winter tourism plan which was never done earlier. While there is a substantial demand for skiing at Auli from tourists who also reach there to watch snowfall in winter, not much was done to provide them with the facilities.

“We have decided to start helicopter services from Dehradun to Auli for tourists from this season. If needed, new helipads will also be constructed,” tourism minister Satpal Maharaj said.“Tourists coming directly to Jolly Grant can avail helicopter services from there itself and those coming directly to Dehradun can take flight from Shastradhara.”

The minister further said if things went according to plan, the helicopter services could be started from this tourism season itself.

The plan is to deploy helicopters that stop flying once the annual Chardham pilgrimage to the four shrines comes to an end this month. “Although we have not received any proposal to provide helicopters services for winter tourism so far, it’s a good idea... The aviation department will be more than willing to pitch in with its services,” Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) additional CEO R Rajesh Kumar said.