St. Kitts – Nevis
November 07, 2007 (CUOPM
The addition of a helicopter service is expected to boost the growing tourism attractions in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Leeward Islands Helicopters Ltd began operations from a makeshift helipad at Frigate Bay on November 1st using a 4-seater Robinson R44 helicopter.
The new attraction, which has employed 8 local persons, offers visitors and residents breathtaking panoramic views via island tours, private charters and custom tours of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We offer a view of the whole of St. Kitts to our passengers. We go along the Northeast coast taking in breathtaking views of the mountains, the rainforest, Brimstone Hill, the crater at Mount Liamuiga, Black Rocks, and come up along the west coast and over to the Southeast Peninsula, where we get a panoramic view of Nevis,” said Capt. Michael Huttenlocker, who along with Chief Pilot Karl Blum, operate the 25 to 30 minute birdseye tour.
Blum and Huttenlocker with over 12,000 flying miles operating jets and fixed winged planes are certified pilots. Blum is also an instructor.
According to Capt. Huttenlocker, Leeward Islands Helicopters Ltd has been operating in neighbouring St. Maarten for the last three years and on his days off, he flew to St. Kitts regularly to play golf.
“Having seen the tremendous economic growth, especially in St. Kitts over the years in the tourism in both cruise and overstay passengers, we carried out the necessary evaluation and research to determine the viability of the helicopter service,” said Huttenlocker. He said the service will operate year-round.
Capt. Huttenlocker told the Communications Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister (CUOPM) that in an effort to give back to the community, Leeward Islands Helicopter will offer an aviation scholarship to a deserving national each year starting in 2008.
He also disclosed a special fare for local residents of US$25 per person “to give them an opportunity to enjoy their beautiful country.”