The state government has appointed two agencies to provide aviation services to the VIPs. A decision in this regard was taken by a committee headed by the chief secretary of the state.
Interestingly, the nine helicopters selected by the State government include Augusta Grand, Augusta 109P and Augusta 109E helicopters from the controversial Augusta Westland Company. The said company was allegedly involved in bribing former Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi for the purchase of its planes for VVIP transportation. The BJP which is now heading the State government had opposed the AugustaWestland contract worth Rs 3767 crore during the rule of the UPA government.
The State government has appointed Ms. Adonis Aviation Enterprises and Ms. Aloft Aviation to provide chartered planes and helicopters. These companies are also entitled to decide the rate of airfare and the contract would be in force until December 31, 2018.
The State government has taken this decision as it faces non-availability of its own aviation resources. It would not pay these companies on hourly-based services. The government will have to pay Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4.60 lakh for per hour for the use of planes and helicopters.