Pilgrims with IAF pilots
Pilgrims with IAF pilots

IAF airbridge to aide Kailash Yatra pilgrims

ANI | Updated: Jun 20, 2018 20:07 IST

New Delhi [India], June 20 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has created an airbridge between Pithoragarh and Gunji to airlift 1080 registered passengers and enable them to continue their journey for the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, which began on June 18.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) approached the Ministry of Defence to pitch in the IAF as the connectivity between the places was envisaged to be poor.
"The IAF is ever ready to take over any task assigned by the Government and thereafter ensures that it is executed in a most professional manner," said Air Commodore Pendse of Western Air Command, who is overlooking the operations.
As Gunji is located at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level, the air headquarters has chosen its experienced helicopter pilots, who have flown over mountainous terrain and landings at high altitude.
Helicopters have been deployed at Pithoragarh to carry approximately 60-80 passengers a day.
Helicopters, from the Kirpan and Nubra Warrior units of the IAF, would be deployed for about three months and will cater to the return journey as well.
The helicopters would fly for about 300 hours during the operations.
Kailash Mansarovar Yatra starts in June and ends in September. It is organised by the MEA in cooperation with the government of the People's Republic of China through two different routes - Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand) and Nathu La Pass (Sikkim).
Pilgrims travelling through the Nathu La pass route are ferried by Chinese transport to Kailash. (ANI)