Under the regional connectivity scheme, six water aerodrome sites have been awarded to commence seaplane as well as helicopter services.
Flying on seaplanes and helicopters! Soon, you will be able to fulfil your dream of flying on seaplanes and helicopters as six water aerodrome sites across the country are likely to introduce seaplane and helicopter facilities. Recently, while replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan informed that seaplanes, as well as helicopter services, are being planned at as many as six water aerodrome sites including the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Sabarmati river fronts and Guwahati in Assam. The plan will be implemented under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme.
The minister informed that under the regional connectivity scheme, six water aerodrome sites have been awarded to commence seaplane as well as helicopter services. However, he added that so far, there is no proposal to start seaplane and helicopter operations on 1,680 km length of Ganga river for passenger transport. According to the Shipping Ministry, the six water aerodrome sites that have been awarded to start seaplane and helicopter services are Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam), Guwahati River Front, Sabarmati River Front, Nagarjuna Sagar, Shatrunjay Dam and Umrangso Reservoir.
According to a PTI report, the Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has been stressing that the country has the potential of starting as many as 10,000 seaplanes. The minister said that India has 3 to 4 lakh ponds, 2,000 river ports, 200 small ports, 12 major ports and plenty of dams. It will cost less, he added.
Earlier, Gadkari had participated in a trial run of a seaplane of budget carrier SpiceJet at the Girgaum Chowpatty off the Mumbai coast. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a seaplane ride, while travelling from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi Dam in the northern part of Gujarat. Generally, seaplanes are interpreted as fixed-wing aircraft, designed for taking off and landing on water.