Saitama Prefecture to Charge Climbers for Rescues by Helicopter (News)
The Saitama prefectural government has set details of planned fees for rescues by helicopter that it will charge rescued climbers under an ordinance taking effect next January.
The fee for a five-minute helicopter flight for a mountain rescue operation is set at ¥5,000, approximately equivalent to fuel costs.
As mountain rescue operations by helicopters take about 60 minutes on average, one helicopter rescue mission will cost some ¥60,000.
Saitama, north of Tokyo, will become the first Japanese local government to introduce fees for mountain rescue operations with its own helicopters.
The prefecture will introduce the paid services in six areas, including the 3-kilometer radius around the top of Mount Kumotori, which straddles Saitama and Yamanashi prefectures and Tokyo.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]