Lakshadweep by Helicopter
The gorgeous islands of Lakshadweep, India's tiniest union territory can be accessed only by air or by ship. The archipelago of Lakshadweep comprises of 36 islands of which 10 are inhabited. Helicopter services are available between the various islands of Lakshadweep is available only during the monsoon season, from May 15th to September 15th. The ferry service between Lakshadweep Islands and Agatti carried on by Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited receives assistance from the Government. The Government supports 80 per cent of the fares for Indian passengers.
To book a helicopter ticket for yourself you will have to register your name at the office of Port Officer, Kavaratti or in Port Assistant's office in other islands of Lakshadweep. Book your tickets by 5 pm on the day preceding your date of flight. You are advised to reach the helipad one hour before your departure time.
The Administration of the Union Territory has been operating a dauphin helicopter from Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited, since 1987. This helicopter serves as a medical ambulance or during any kind of emergency. It operates from other islands of Lakshadweep to Kavaratti and Kochi. This ambulance helicopter is used to transfer serious ailing patients from far off islands to Kavaratti and also to the major cities of India, if the situation demands. The Government of India has several proposals to construct mini airstrips at Kavaratti, Minicoy, Kadmat, Kiltan and Andrott. This would help to expand the air service between the various islands of Lakshadweep.
Lakshadweep by Private Carrier
While traveling by air, you can fly either through the private carriers or state owned carriers. Kingfisher Airlines is the only private carrier that connects Agatti to the major cities of India. After the operation of this new route, 158 flights Kingfisher Airlines will be operating across 29 cities. Civil aviation sector in India has undergone a drastic change. The airline industry in India has become very competitive with many new private carriers entering the sector. Few years back Indian Airlines and Air India were the only two state-owned airlines operating from India. Some of the domestic private airlines in India that connect the various destinations are:
- Jet Airways
- Air Sahara
- Kingfisher Airlines
- Air Deccan
- Paramount Airways
Agatti Aerodrome is situated on the Agatti Island. The Island is the Gateway of Lakshadweep, situated 459 km from Cochin. Among the 36 islands of Lakshadweep, Agatti is the only island where an airstrip has been built. When tourists from far off places come to these Virgin Islands, they first come on this island. The turquoise blue waters, sparkling beaches and wide stretch of coconut palms mesmerize them.
Other airports close to Agatti Aerodrome are the domestic airport Cochin Garuda, 245 Nautical Mile away and Cochin International, 253 Nautical Mile away. Pawan Hans Helicopters also fly from this airport that provides emergency medical facilities to the inhabitants of the islands. The airport is geographically located between 10° 49' 25.16" North Latitude and 72° 10' 33.75" East Longitude. It is elevated to a level of 14 feet 4 meters. The runway is made of asphalt and has the dimension of the 4235 x 98 feet and 1291 x 30 meters.
Two commercial airlines namely, Indian Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines operate their flights from Agatti Aerodrome to Cochin International Airport by connecting the islands of Lakshadweep to the mainland. The Indian Airlines flights IC 502 and IC 501 are incoming flights to and outgoing flights from Agatti respectively. These flights operate on weekdays and there is no flight on Sunday. From March 2005 onwards Kingfisher Airlines started its flight from Agatti airport. These flights function three days a week from Cochin Airport. IT 2453 is the incoming flight to Agatti airport and flies on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flight-number IT 2454 flies on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Cochin Airport.
Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (SPORTS)
The Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports (SPORTS) is a society whose main aim is to encourage eco-friendly tourism. The organization is working in this field in collaboration with the Lakshadweep Administration. The Union Ministry of Tourism awarded SPORTS with the 'most eco-friendly organization' award for the year 1996-97.
Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports frames holiday tour packages for these islands in such a way that it does not disturb the fragile balance between man and nature. SPORTS also play a vital role in generating employment opportunities in the tourism sector for the educated local population. To visit the island you need special permits from the Administration. But you do not require any special permission for tour packages planned by SPORTS.
Lakshadweep is the smallest Union Territory of India encompassing an area of 32 sq km. It comprises of 36 islands, 5 submerged banks 3 reefs and 12 atolls. The lagoons encased by the atolls cover up 4200 sq. km of the area. This island is very important for the ecological balance of the region comprising of territorial waters expanding up to 20,000 sq. km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 4,00,000 sq. km. Out of the 36 islands only 10 are inhabited, namely Amini, Agatti, Andrott, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kavaratti, Kiltan and Minicoy. Kavaratti is the capital and Administrative Headquarters of Lakshadweep.
SPORTS of Lakshadweep has been very actively involved to conserve the ecological balance of the archipelago. The biodiversity of marine life is the asset of the islands, so SPORTS takes care of the fact that it is not disturbed by the tourism sector, which is one of the main sectors of the economy. While traveling by ship you will be assisted by a representative of 'SPORTS'.
Last Updated on 02 April 2013