KOTA KINABALU: It is high time aerial tourism takes flight in Sabah by attracting a niche market and offering a fresh and new tourism product to the tourists who flock to the city.
Sabah Air Aviation, which is a helicopter and fixed wing charter and leasing company, is at the forefront in exploring the potentials and possibilities this facet of tourism has.
Bell Helicopter (BH), one of the oldest brands in the world which hails from the United States, recently held a demo run at the firm’s airport, introducing the latest Bell 412EPI aircraft. Boasting a twin-engine with a fully-integrated glass cockpit, the chopper hosts a state-of-art navigation system which is completely digital, with an analogue system only for back-up.
A small group had the privilege to be taken on an ‘air tour’ around Kota Kinabalu and nearby islands, and given a taste of the ‘whole new perspective’ of the scenic state.
Choppers are ideal for professional shutterbugs and commercial clients such as filmmakers and advertising companies to immortalise magnificent sceneries and natural terrains from an aerial perspective for promotional materials as well as personal gratification, said Sabah Air CEO Terry Chan.
And Sabah is no stranger to the film industry as the first season of reality TV show The Survivor was filmed at Pulau Tiga here; Sabah Air was roped in for the shooting of the whole programme.
“We were involved in the filming of the Survivor reality TV show. Subsequently they had few more (seasons) and went to Thailand to do shooting which we were involved as well,” said Chan.
He added that the firm was also involved in the shooting of producer Mark Burnett’s Eco-Challenge: The Expedition Race in the state as well as for Camel Trophy Challenge, an off-road championship.
Chan also revealed that a deal had been sealed with Shangri-la's Rasa Ria Resort to provide air tour packages to tourists who stay there.
“We are in the process of ironing out the details,” he added.
Continue reading at: Time for aerial tourism to fly high in Sabah.