Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is initiating the process of commencing operations of the Seaplane services, on the select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators. The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), which is under the administrative control of the Ministry.
Several destinations are envisaged for seaplane operations. The proposed Origin-Destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model include various islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront / Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhaya, Tehri, Srinagar(Uttrakhand), Chandigarh and many other tourist places of Punjab & HP; Mumbai (as Hub) to Shirdi, Lonavala, Ganpatipule; Surat (as Hub) to Dwarka, Mandvi & Kandla; Khindsi Dam, Nagpur & Erai Dam, Chandrapur (in Maharashtra) and/or any other Hub & Spoke suggested by the Operator.
One such Seaplane Service is already in operation between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, which was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 31st October 2020.
To run more such services in the coastal areas or proximity to water bodies, SDCL is keen to associate with the interested scheduled / non-scheduled airline operators. The joint development and operation of “Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)” will be undertaken by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL).
To provide connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, SDCL is exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies/rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations. Sea Plane will utilize the nearby water bodies for take-off and landing and thus connect those places in a much economical way as conventional airport infrastructure like a runway and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations.
The seaplane services will be a game-changer providing a supplementary means of faster and comfortable transportation across the nation. Apart from providing air connectivity to various remote religious/tourist places, it will boost tourism for domestic and international holidaymakers. It will save travel time and stimulate localized short distance traveling especially in the hilly regions or across the rivers/lakes etc. In addition to the infrastructural enhancements at the places of operations, it will enormously boost tourism and business activities.
Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (I/C) Shri Mansukh Mandaviya stated that initiation of Seaplane operations aligns with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to improve connectivity across the nation and make India as an attractive destination for tourists. By providing air connectivity to numerous remote, religious/tourist places and unexplored locations near the water bodies will make the journey easier. It will generate employment opportunities and stimulate tourism on these new locations, which will consequently contribute to the country’s GDP in the long run.