The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has introduced an additional hill check for pilots operating to helipads at 10,000 ft during the Char Dham yatra from this season onwards, keeping in view the safety of operation in the hilly areas.
In October 2022, six pilgrims and a pilot were killed in a chopper crash near Kedarnath Shrine in Uttarakhand.
A senior official informed that under the safety measures, pilots operating in the Himalayan region will get specialised training under the new set of rules introduced by DGCA.
After the last year's chopper crash that claimed seven lives and another incident that happened this year where an official of the Uttarakhand government was killed after coming in contact with a tail rotor, DGCA issued safety guidelines to all operators in the hill region.
Char Dham Yatra is one of the most popular pilgrimages attracting a large number of devotees from various parts of India. Kedarnath is one of these places. All four shrines are at high altitudes where extreme weather conditions can change rapidly.
The Kedarnath pilgrimage started on April 25 this year. The chopper shuttle services also began on the same date by seven operators approved by DGCA after an inspection conducted from April 20-23. (ANI)