New Delhi: The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is about to introduce seaplane service on selected routes through a range of potential airline operators under special purpose vehicle (Special Purpose Vehicle-SPV) structure. The project will be implemented through Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL). This company is under the administrative control of the Ministry.
Various destinations are being considered for seaplane operations. Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep group of proposed destination destinations under Hub and Spoke model, Guwahati riverfront and Umranso reservoir in Assam, Yamuna riverfront in Delhi to Ayodhya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttarakhand), Chandigarh and many tours of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh The sites include Shirdi to Mumbai, Lonavala, Ganapati Pul or Surat to Dwarka, Mandvi and Kandla or Khindsi Dame, Nagpur and Irai Dame, Chandrapur (Maharashtra) and other hubs and spokes recommended by the operator.
One such seaplane service is already running between the Sabarmati riverfront and Kevadia in Ahmedabad. It was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October 2020. SDCL intends to engage with non-notified airline operators interested in this work to introduce more such services near coastal areas and streams. Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) will be jointly developed and operated by Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) by creating a special purpose vehicle (Special Purpose Vehicle).
To provide connectivity and easy access to remote areas, SDLC is planning to use the country’s wide coastline and various streams of water through seaplane service. The seaplane will use nearby streams and rivers to take off and land, thus connecting these locations at a much lower cost and no need for infrastructure such as runways and terminal buildings built in traditional airports for seaplane operations.
Seaplane service will play an important role in providing fast and comfortable transport facilities in the country. In addition to connecting many remote religious religious sites by air, it will increase tourism opportunities for domestic and international tourists. This journey will save time and promote the trend of locally short distance travel, especially in mountainous areas and for people living across rivers and lakes. Along with increasing the infrastructure at operational sites, it will not only give a lot of boost to tourism but it will also increase business activities.
The Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (Independent Charge), Mansukh Mandavia said that the Seaplane operations are being launched in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to improve connectivity across the country and make India an attractive destination for tourists. Traveling will be easier with many remote, religious shrines and waterways connecting the ancient places near it. This will create employment opportunities and develop tourism in these new places which will ultimately contribute to the GDP of the country.