This will be one of its kind service with a 19-seater plane that can accommodate as many as 12 passengers.
The benefits will be provided to SpiceJet under the government's UDAN scheme. (representational image: Reuters)
On 31 October 2020, the country’s first seaplane service is expected to take off from Sabarmati riverfront to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, said Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. For the venture, SpiceJet is in the process of procuring a seaplane from Maldives. The seaplane is likely to arrive on 26 October 2020 for the first regular service on the stretch of about 205 kilometres, according to a PTI report. Earlier, a seaplane flight has been used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad. The Shipping Minister was quoted in the report saying that for the launching off the first seaplane service in the country from Sabarmati riverfront to Statue of Unity, infrastructure is ready for it on both sides including the floating jetty.
According to the minister, the benefits will be provided to SpiceJet under the government’s UDAN scheme. Once this is launched, it will give a major boost to tourism. This will be one of its kind service with a 19-seater plane that can accommodate as many as 12 passengers, Mandaviya said. In the month of July this year, the state government of Gujarat had cleared a proposal to enter into a tri-party agreement with the Civil Aviation Ministry and AAI for the construction of four water aerodromes under the seaplane services’ regional connectivity scheme. A seaplane base or water aerodrome is an open water area utilized by sea planes, float planes as well as amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off.
The water aerodrome was planned at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront, Shetrunji dam at Palitana in Bhavnagar district, Sardar Sarovar dam at Kevadia in Narmada district, and Dhaori dam in Mehsana district. Recently, Mandaviya had reviewed seaplane projects in the country. As per the government, in the 16 seaplane routes identified in India, Sabarmati and Sardar Sarovar- Statue of Unity route are included and this route’s hydrographic surveys have been completed. Post this service launch, regular services are planned on various routes including Andaman and Nicobar, Guwahati in Assam and Yamuna to Tupper Dam in the state of Uttarakhand, the minister added.