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Helicopter Rides under LTC for Central Government Employees – Proposal

Helicopter Rides under LTC for Central Government Employees – Proposal under Consideration of Govt – DOPT called for cost analysis on Helicopter flights

As per a news item reported in the Economic Times, DOPT is considering a proposal to bring Helicopter Rides under LTC Scheme applicable to Central Government Employees. It is reported that cost analysis has been called for by DOPT regading Helicopter flights in the Country.

As such Central Government Emplyees are allowed travel by various classes by road and Trains depending upon the posts held by them. In addition to Bus and Train Travel under LTC, Central Government Employees who are in receipt of Grade Pay of Rs. 5400 and above are entitled to travel by Air while availing Leave Travel Concession. In respect of certain specified destinations such as North East Regions (NER), Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar, Employees have been allowed to travel by Air from a specified place viz., from Kolkata in the case of LTC to NER.

Check the following link for all information on LTC applicable to Central Government Employees

Click here for Leave Travel Concession Reference Page

The Economic Times reports as follows:

The government is discussing a proposal to allow its employees to claim leave travel concession for domestic helicopter flights, a move seen boosting the helicopter-ferrying business.

At present, central government employees can claim leave travel concession (LTC) only for using scheduled commercial airline flights, preferably Air India. According to a civil aviation ministry official, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had sought a cost analysis of helicopter rides in the country.

“We have sent our analysis to the DoPT on the cost of flying in a helicopter. They had asked for it since they plan to bring helicopter rides under the LTC scheme,” the official, who did not wish to be named, told ET. The helicopter industry has welcomed the proposal, which aims to extend the travel concession to some 3 million central government workers.

“It creates business for helicopter operators in the country. Currently, helicopter operations are available in areas that have difficult terrain and no other means of connectivity, as helicopter rides are expensive,” said Harsh Vardhan Sharma, treasurer at Business Aircraft Operators’ Association and owner of Himalayan Heli Services Ltd, a helicopter operator.

“The rides are expensive because there is less demand. A move like this would increase volumes that will bring down fares in the affordable category.” According to Sharma, helicopter fare for the Katra-Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine ride has come down by half mainly due to volumes.

“During peak season, helicopter operators ferry about 1,000 people a day that comes down to about 800 a day during non-peak season between Katra and Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. This had led to a 50% fall in fares from its high fare days,” Sharma said.

Source: The Economic Times

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