The Maharashtra government has decided to appoint two private aviation companies to assist it in hiring aircrafts and helicopters on rental basis. The decision came after a Government Resolution issued by General Administration Department here cited non availability of government aircrafts at times of sudden travel by VVIPs in the state and the urgent need to hire small aircraft or helicopters. The hourly rates for hiring 6 to 15 seater aircrafts and 5 to 10 seater helicopters quoted in the GR ranges between Rs 99,999 per hour for Super King Air B200 aircraft to Rs 1,78,500 per hour for an Augusta 109E Helicopter. The GAD stated that a public e-tender was called for the purpose of hiring private sector aviation agency for the said purpose.
It further said an Empowered Committee headed by state chief secretary in its meeting on March 14, 2017 had debated on the need for fixing a private agency for hiring small aircraft and helicopters for air travel of VVIPs in the state. The GR empowers the state Directorate of Aviation to enter into agreements with the two private aviation agencies. The duration of the agreements should be for two years between January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018. As per the GR, the government has identified 22 types of small aeroplanes for hiring having seating capacity ranging between 6 to 15 persons, which also includes Air Ambulances.
These 22 small seater aircraft include – Falcon 2000, Challenger 604, Challenger 605, Challenger 850, Hawker 900, Hawker 800, Hawker 800XP, Citation XL (2004), Citation XLS (2008), Citation CJ2+, Citation CJ2, Learjet 60, King Air B200 Trubo, Hawker 900XP (Delhi), Hawker 750XP, Embraer Phenom 200 (Bangalore), Gulfstream 150 (Bangalore/Delhi), Gulfstream 200, King Air B200 GT, Air Ambulance (King Air B200), GS50 and Super King Air B200.The most costliest of the lot appears to be GS50 whose per hour charge is pegged at Rs 4,59,999, while the lowest is of King Air B200 Turbo at Rs 99,999 per hour.
Besides the aircraft, the government has identified nine helicopters having seating capacity in the range of 5 to 10 people. These helicopters identified for hiring include – Bell 412 (Non AC), Bell 412 AC, Sikorsky S76 C++, Augsta Grand, MD 900, Bell 230, Bell 429, Augsta 109 P and Augsta 109E. The per hour hiring rate for these 9 helicopters ranges between Rs 1,78,500 for Augsta 109E to a maximum of Rs 2,89,500 per hour for Bell 412 AC helicopter, said the GR.