0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

This article is more than 3 year old.

Indians take to the skies as traffic-congested roads drive up travel times

Mini

The introduction of 'heli-taxi' in India has brought the travel time down to more than half between either two cities or two different part of the city.

Indians take to the skies as traffic-congested roads drive up travel times
The automobile industry saw an evolution with electric cars entering the market and trying to establish as the 'next thing of the future'.
Now the world is moving towards innovating flying cars to get rid of the increasing traffic and turn down the dial on the traveling time by cars.
Ride-hailing company Uber is already in the process of testing prototype of flying cars.
Kitty Hawk, a company co-funded by Google’s co-founder Larry Page and led by chief executive officer Sebastian Thurn, have built a vehicle just over 110 kilos, that resembles a cross between a drone and a sea plane.
Uber, during its Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles in May, said it would launch thousands of short-range electric aircraft and announced a partnership with NASA to model an urban air-traffic control system.
India, a country with thousands of kilometers of highways and a population of 1.32 billion, is saturated with more than 230 million vehicles, leading to long delays for short distances in major metros such as Delhi and Bengaluru.
While Indian cities are playing catch up with other major cities in terms of infrastructure available for ease of transportation, the benefits of an airborne taxi are slowly catching on among the general public.
Bengaluru recently became the first city in the country to initiate a helicopter service connecting one side of the city with the airport.
Pawan Hans, a Government of India enterprise, provides heli-taxi services mostly to VIPs and for medical evacuation. However, the helicopter carrier service has also expanded into providing its facility to the common man.
The Snow Trail
The bustling tourist destinations in the Himanchal Pradesh had its first leg of heli-taxi services launched earlier this month from Jubberhati Airport, to ferry tourists from Chandigarh to Shimla and Shimla to Manali.
In the second leg of this initiative, the government introduced one more service from Manali to Rohtang, a cumbersome journey of many hours by road.
The journey can know be completed well within 15 minutes for tourists, to explore destinations previously out of reach for tourists in the state, for a nominal fee of Rs 2,999 per passenger.
Rohtang Pass, is the gateway to Spiti Valley, an adrenaline junkie’s playground with opportunities for trekking and hiking. The pass, which is about 13,050 feet above the sea level is famous for its quaint village and Tibetan heritage. It also allows tourists to witness the annual snow sight.
An Escape from the Red Sign, Honking and Pollution
The travel time between Bengaluru’s Electronic City and Kempegowda International Airport is about two hours for the 54 kilometre journey. That’s when the traffic gods have withheld their wrath, that is.
The heli-taxi service, operated by Thumby Aviation, between the two ends of the city started in March 2018,  has completed about 500 trips and is seeing a surge in demand for its services.
The aviation company is now looking to expand its base by commencing their operations from the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) premises. Moreover, it has identified 90 rooftop helipads in the city to get them functional for the shuttle services.
Jetson’s Utopia?
Kitty Hawk's Flyer is now tested over water and the company is working towards keeping the aircraft lightweight, under 115 kgs, so that it can be flown without a pilot’s license due to regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA).
The company wants the “made in Vegas” Flyer, devoid of high-tech, complicated controllers, making it comfortable for people to fly with ease. It wants it to get into the hands of individual customers and is taking pre-orders now, where the pilots will be trained and flights be monitored by professionals.
The Flyer has completed almost 1500 flights with its employees and wants the early sales to go to select social influencers and interested business partners wanting to operate fleets, such as amusement parks.
Kitty Hawk, also a place in North Carolina, US is known for its first controlled powered airplane flights by the Wright Brothers.
From maned flight, to helicopters and now a personalised flying car, the day is not far away when our cars will take to the skies, just as we used to see on The Jetsons as children.
next story