The decision comes eight months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a seaplane from the Sabarmati riverfront while campaigning for the Gujarat assembly polls.

Andhra Pradesh to get water aerodrome to promote regional connectivity
news Aviation Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 09:46

Andhra Pradesh is one of the five states the Civil Aviation Ministry has selected to set up water aerodromes to promote regional connectivity in the country. The announcement was made by the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu over a series of tweets on Saturday. The five states selected for the first phase of the project are – Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Assam.

The decision comes eight months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a seaplane flight from the Sabarmati riverfront in December 2017 while campaigning for the Gujarat assembly polls. The Centre has been working on the rules. The government has identified Chilka Lake in Odisha and Sabarmati riverfront and Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat as part of the project.

“In-principle approval has been given for the construction of water aerodromes in various states across the country. This move will promote tourism as well as connect places of religious importance. To start with, we have identified five states: Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Assam for the development of water aerodromes. For the first phase of the project, Chilka Lake (Odisha), Sabarmati River Front and Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat) have been identified,” tweeted Suresh Prabhu.

“DGCA has already issued regulations prescribing the procedure and requirement for licensing of water aerodromes. Since there is no historical data on market and also the demand from any airlines, the project will be done as a pilot project,” he added.

"The state governments should take to new modes of transportation, including inland waterways to avoid pollution and related issues arising out of road transport," said the minister in another tweet.

The proposal to set up water aerodromes across the country is part of the Centre’s UDAN scheme meant to promote regional connectivity by setting up regional airports. The scheme puts a cap of Rs 2480 on a flight ticket. Private airlines have been gearing up to enter the regional aviation market since the launch of the scheme and Centre’s plans to frame rules for water aerodromes.

In recent months, Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited tied up with Canada’s Viking Air Ltd to launch turboprops, including seaplanes in India. Viking Air is the maker of the Twin Otter Series 400, a 19-passenger twin-engine turboprop aircraft that is capable of operating from both land and water.

SpiceJet too has been drawing up plans to launch a small 10-14 seater aircraft after signing a MoU with Setouchi Holdings, a Japanese firm that makes small planes.


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