Abu Dhabi aviation offers help to start Air Kerala

Abu Dhabi Aviation is one of the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) has proposed a tie-up with the state government for commencing Air Kerala airlines, emergency helicopter medical services, international aviation academy, tie-ups with Kannur International Airport and setting up of aircraft engineering maintenance base. A high-level committee headed by the Chief Secretary Paul Antony has been constituted by the government to examine the scope of the proposal.

Abu Dhabi Aviation is one of the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East. It operates a fleet of about 60 aircrafts and over 50 helicopters. Government sources said that the fresh move would be a major fillip to the state’s aviation sector, especially the long pending plans to have an own airline as well as air ambulance. Abu Dhabi Aviation Academy director Mark J. Pierotti recently sent the formal proposal to the state government showing interest in tie-up. It suggested formation of a joint venture company of the state government and ADA.

ADA offered supply of aviation expertise and facilitate lease or purchase of aircraft. It proposed that the state government should give regional government carrier status and preferential terms at all airports, enabling the company to get government grants and concessions. The chief secretary chaired committee will be holding discussions with the ADA authorities and experts on the scope, further modalities, legal and financial aspects and give a recommendation to the government.

Other members of the committee are principal secretaries in charge of industries, finance and aviation departments, Cochin International Airport Limited managing director V.J. Kurian and former Air India chairman and managing director V. Thulasidas. Though the state government had earlier planned to commence its own airline Air Kerala to offer affordable connectivity for NRKs in Gulf, it was held up due to mandatory norm of minimum five years of domestic operation and 20 aircrafts to start international operation.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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