Govt eyes 14 more water aerodromes for seaplanes

The government is looking to set up 14 more water aerodromes across the country after the successful launch of maiden seaplane service by Prime Minister Narendra Modi between the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district and Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.

These will facilitate seaplane services on various routes including Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, Assam, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

“Development of 14 more water aerodromes is being planned pan India under RCS UDAN scheme. Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) had requested Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to conduct a hydrographic survey and later on requested assistance in setting up jetties for facilitating the passenger movement,” a Shipping Ministry official told PTI.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya last week told PTI that post the launch of seaplane service at Gujarat, regular services are being planned on various routes including in Guwahati, Andaman and Nicobar and Uttarakhand.

“The potential locations include Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand, Guwahati riverfront and Umrangso reservoir in Assam, Khindsi Dam and Erai Dam in Maharashtra, Prakasam barrage in Andhra Pradesh, Minicoy and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep, Havelock, Neil, Long and Hutbay islands in Andaman & Nicobar and Dharoi and Shatrunjaya in Gujarat,” according to a Shipping Ministry document.

IWAI has set up concrete jetties for the maiden seaplane project in Gujarat in record time, the official said and added IWAI has been entrusted for hydrographic survey, floating jetties and navigational buoys.

Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) had used differential global positioning system (DGPS) technology, essentially a system to provide provisional corrections to GPS signals to mark the runway and shallow water in Gujarat for landing of the seaplane in daylight visibility while provision has already been made over installed buoys for fixing automated navigation lights for operation during nights in future, the document mentioned.

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