The Rajasthan government is planning to buy a new jet plane to fly VIPs.
This comes at a time when the government has crowd sourced funds to finance the Mukhyamantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan for conservation of water.
The Rajasthan government owns two aircraft and one Augusta helicopter. One aircraft is 26 years old while the other is around 15 years old. The Augusta helicopter is grounded ever since it suffered a technical glitch in November 2011.
The Directorate of Civil Aviation has finalised the expression of interest (EOI) notification for a “mid-size multi-turbine jet engine airplane.”
The new aircraft that the government is looking to purchase comes for a minimum of Rs 50 crore, civil aviation experts said.
Civil aviation director Capt Keshri Singh told HT that the government had been trying to procure a new aircraft since 2011. “We are trying to move towards jet engines since our two aircraft are turbo prop-based.”
According to an EOI uploaded on the website of General Administration Department, the plane should have capability and airworthiness to operate in in high temperatures. It should be able to land and take off from an airfield with a runway length of approximately 5,000 ft.
“It should have a minimum seating capacity of eight passengers (VIP seating configuration) excluding aircrew, with normal cruising speed of 450 knots and above,” it said.
The EOI, however, was pulled out on Wednesday afternoon.
Singh said there are some ‘problems’ with the EOI document uploaded on the site and added that it will be issued again. “But it (the aircraft) is not only for the VIPs.”
“The aircraft is also needed for maintenance of law and order and to promote tourism. The state has license for running air taxis and we will be able to earn more revenue if we have one more aircraft,” Singh said.