Govt plans to launch seaplane operations
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) recently announced that the government is set to launch seaplane services on several routes, including Delhi-Ayodhya, in collaboration with airline operators. The development comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a seaplane service between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, on 31 October 2020.
In an official statement, the ministry said that it is initiating the commencement of the seaplane services' operations on selected routes under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through airline operators.
Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), under the administrative control of the ministry, will oversee project implementation and execution.
As per the ministry's statement, the proposed origin-destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model includes Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront / Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttrakhand), Chandigarh, various islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, and many other tourist places.
A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with SDCL for undertaking the joint development and operation of the "Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)", said the statement.
For better connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, SDCL is exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies/rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations.
The seaplane will utilise nearby water bodies for take-off, and landing, thus connecting those places in a much economical way as conventional airport infrastructures like runways and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations, per the ministry's statement.