The Ministry of Civil Aviation is soon looking to operate helicopter emergency medical services. Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday a request for proposal will be invited “in the next couple of weeks” for “evacuating road accident victims” from the nearby highways to AIIMS-Rishikesh.

According to Scindia, the plan is to increase helicopter penetration in India and about 25 routes have been fixed for this under the new UDAN schemes. A new helicopter policy is in place to promote the use of choppers as a “preferred mode of travel” and “push last mile connectivity”.

During his speech at the AIMA’s National Management Convention, Scindia said, “I am working with (Nitin) Gadkari ji and the Health Ministry to look at helicopter emergency medical services. We can evacuate road accident victims from highways to hospitals directly.”

The Union Minister for Civil Aviation added, “The first centre we are looking at is the AIIMS in Rishikesh; where I am putting out a request for proposal (RFP) in the next couple of weeks. This will help in saving lives. This is the last mile connectivity I am talking about.”

Between 2015 and 2020, the smaller airports of the country witnessed a growth of around 31.6 per cent with improved regional connectivity as against the 2010-15 period when growth was around 11-11.5 per cent.

Punjab Chief Minister incident 

In response to a question on the sidelines of the event, Scindia said he would investigate allegations that Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was deplaned from a Delhi-bound flight to Frankfurt for being inebriated.

“This incident was on international soil. We will have to make sure that we verify the facts. It is up to Lufthansa Airlines to provide the data. Based on the request that has been sent to me, I will certainly look into it,” Scindia told media persons.

The Aam Aadmi Party has rubbished the allegations.