A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed on 15 June 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in order to develop seaplane flight services in India.
More seaplane routes and water aerodromes in India soon! On Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced that a total of 28 seaplane routes, as well as 14 water aerodromes across the country, are currently in various stages of development. The projects are being developed at a cost of Rs 450 crore. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed on 15 June 2021 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in order to develop seaplane flight services in India, according to a PTI report. Puri at the event said that 28 seaplane routes under the regional connectivity scheme (UDAN scheme) and 14 water aerodromes in the states of Gujarat, Telangana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands are at various stages of development.
To encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports, as well as to keep airfares affordable, financial incentives from the state, central governments as well as airport operators are extended to selected airlines under the Modi government’s regional connectivity scheme- UDAN. According to Puri, the MoU is a formalization and the starting of an institutional process to develop seaplane services in the country. The Union Civil Aviation Minister clarified that when it comes to starting seaplane operations, he has never seen any hurdles coming his way from anywhere. Because of the immense potential of seaplane routes, the Civil Aviation minister told his ministry’s officials to operationalize them as soon as possible.
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On October 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated SpiceJet airline’s seaplane service between the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya in the district of Narmada and Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. However, for the last two months this seaplane service has not been operational due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, who was also present at the event of the MoU signing.