After crashes, no joy left in chopper rides on last day of Ganeshotsav in Mumbai
Helicopter operators said the December 2016 helicopter crash at Aarey that claimed three lives caused Mumbaiites to stay away from joy ridesUpdated: Sep 08, 2017 11:42 IST
There were no chopper rides for an aerial view on the last day of Ganeshotsav on Tuesday with operators failing to get any registrations. Helicopter operators said the December 2016 helicopter crash at Aarey that claimed three lives, near-miss incidents with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis this year and weather conditions led Mumbaiites to stay away from joy rides. Sources also said fewer people were interested in joy rides.
Sources from the Airports Authority of India confirmed that no joy rides took off from the Juhu aerodrome on Tuesday. Only two companies in Mumbai offer joyrides that approximately costs Rs3,500 per person for 10 minutes, Rs 4,000 for 15 minutes, and Rs 6,000 for 20 minutes.
Mumbai police spokesperson Rashmi Karandikar, deputy commissioner of police (operations) said, “The operators first have to take advance permission from the local police station after which they are allowed to conduct the joy rides.” When asked if the operators were allowed to fly in south Mumbai on Tuesday, Dnyaneshwar Chavan, DCP of Zone II said, “As per my knowledge, we had no restrictions from our end.”
One operator, Nandan Korgaonkar, managing director of Yagnya Aviation said, “We have stopped joyride services as the business is running in to losses. We received only 10% enquiries for this year’s Ganpati visarjan as compared to last year.”
“My office has confirmed three couples have taken ride to see visarjan using our chopper inspite of rains,” said RN Johri, president of Aman Aviation.
Vipul Saxena, aviation expert, said, “Last year’s fatal accident has led to a fear among those who look for fun and adventure through joy rides, and also because the type of helicopters used are not being considered safe.This definitely must have adversely affected the joy ride business. The on-going monsoon season and the resulting low visibility due to heavy rains too must have affected their business.”