The Karnataka Tourism Department has got approval from the Youth and Sports Services department and Airport Authority of India (AII) to use Jakkur aerodrome and five other airstrips for heli-tourism purposes.
Tourism Minister C P Yogeshwar, said “Jakkur will be used for landing and take-off purposes. A circuit will be prepared for tourists to take helicopters to Goa, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala. The heli-tourism services can be even used by VVIPs and for emergency services.”
The proposed heliport to be constructed at Jakkur will have helipads to enable take-off and landing of six helicopters at a time. “As of now, three agencies for the services have also been finalised, ” said an official from the tourism department.
Apart from Bengaluru, heli-tourism will be started in other regions in the state, including Mysuru, Mangaluru, Ballari Dharwad and Kalaburagi. According to Tourism Minister Yogeshwar, the state will eventually link all district headquarters to enable helicopter travel.
In April this year, Karnataka tourism department’s plan to launch helicopter tourism beginning with Mysuru had run into a controversy after environment activists and the royal family of Mysuru objected to the proposal to cut trees near a hotel for the project.
According to activists, the Karnataka Tourism department intends to fell 150 trees of various species on four acres of land in Kurubarahalli in front of Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel. As of now the plan to start heli-tourism from Palace Hotel is on hold, according to officials.