After several efforts to connect small cities in Gujarat with air services, the state government has finally announced air services between some cities in Gujarat under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme.
A top official of the state civil aviation department said that tenders have been issued for starting flight and helicopter route operations under the VGF scheme.
The state civil aviation department has announced seven intercity flights from Ahmedabad and four from Vadodara.
According to reports, flight services will embark from Ahmedabad to Keshod, Porbandar, Amreli, Bhavnagar, and Rajkot. Cities including Bhuj, Keshod, Porbandar, and Rajkot will be connected by air from Vadodara.
Chopper rides to Ambaji and Statue of Unity
A helicopter route has also been decided under this project from Ahmedabad to Ambaji and the Statue of Unity (Kevadia).
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed the operations of any aircraft on the routes but has also suggested maintaining consistency in the operations. There should be air operations for at least two days a week on the decided routes.
Hirasar international airport to begin its operations
Rajkot’s newly inaugurated Hirasar international airport will also start air operations on Sept 10. The last flight from the currently operating airport will take off on Sept 8, and the airport authority will shift to the new airport on Sept 9.
Direct flights from Surat to Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong
The Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) had requested the union ministry of civil aviation to start direct flight operations from Surat to Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Following this, the government decided to start international flights in Dec or Jan 2024 from Surat.
This is the fourth attempt by the government to start an intercity air service network in the last 10 years. However, the government has shut down the much-touted seaplane service between the Sabarmati riverfront and the Statue of Unity for the last 2.5 years.
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