Seaplane services initiated on select routes
To provide connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL) – which is under the administrative control of the Ministry is exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies and rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations.
The Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Ministry is initiating the process of commencing operations of the seaplane services, on select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
The project execution and implementation of the "Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)" would be through the SPV with SDCL.
The seaplane will utilize the nearby water bodies for take-off and landing and thus, provide connectivity to those places in an economical way because conventional airport infrastructure like a runway and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations.
Several destinations are envisaged for the seaplane operations. The proposed Origin-Destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model include various islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, the Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront/Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhaya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttrakhand), Chandigarh and many other tourist places of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
The operations will also cover Mumbai (as Hub) to Shirdi, Lonavala, Ganpatipule, Surat (as Hub) to Dwarka, Mandvi & Kandla, Khindsi Dam, Nagpur and Erai Dam, Chandrapur (in Maharashtra) and any other Hub and Spoke suggested by the operator.
One such Seaplane Service was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2020 between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
To run more such services in the coastal areas or areas near water bodies, the SDCL is keen to associate with interested scheduled and non-scheduled airline operators.