Pawan Hans helicopters will fly in Himachal Pradesh this winter season to connect the Lahaul Valley to the rest of the state. The state government has signed a fresh contract with the Pawan Hans Company for the 2012-13 season. Earlier the state government had signed a contract with the Jagson and Mesco Airline Companies.
The agreement is for 40 flying hours under this contract.
The first flight to the Lahaul Valley will take off on the very first day of the New Year. The Pawan Hans helicopter will be a 26 seater landing at different locations in the Lahaul Valley. The flights will take off from the Bhuntar Airport. Usually these flights land at Udaipur, medical Keylong, Sissu, and Stingri on different days of the week.
Lahaul Spiti is one of the difficult terrains to counter especially in the winter and air travel remains the only way to move in and out of the valley.
Government officials and natives of the Lahaul Valley are given a discount to avail this facility. Although tourists too can fly across from Kullu to the Lahaul valley but that means paying as much as 10,000 for one side flight. Moreover, scarcity of the flights and bad weather often results in missed flights.
For a tourist, it is extremely difficult to get onboard these flights because of the unavailability of seats and heavy rush.