28 Seaplane Routes Connecting 14 Water Aerodromes Awarded By AAI Under UDAN, Says Civil Aviation Ministry
Airports Authority of India has sanctioned an amount of Rs 287 crore for constructing 14 water aerodromes in six states and Union Territories.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded 14 water aerodromes under UDAN scheme across the country. This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, V. K. Singh in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Monday (25 July).
Ministry of Civil Aviation has introduced seaplane operations from water aerodromes under the centre’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme meant to promote regional connectivity by setting up regional airports.
A water aerodrome is an area of open water that can be used by seaplanes as well as amphibious aircraft to land and take off. Water aerodromes can be built at much less cost and time, as compared to land based airports. They do not require physical construction of the runway, apron and the allied infrastructure of a land-based airport.
Moreover, depending on the volume of traffic, water aerodrome may have a terminal building on the shore or on a jetty where planes can dock, and bays where they can be parked.
The water drones are present in some island nations like the British Virgin Islands. Also, there are few in Canada, including Yellowknife on the Great Slave Lake, Tofino on Vancouver Island and Whitehorse on Schwatka Lake.
To usher in a new era of Air travel in India, routes to and fro from water aerodromes were introduced under UDAN 3.O onwards. A total of 28 sea plane routes connecting 14 water aerodromes have been awarded by the AAI under UDAN across the country.
AAI which is the implementing Agency for the project has sanctioned an amount of Rs 287 crore for constructing 14 water aerodromes in six states and Union Territories.
Under this project, water aerodromes are being constructed one each in Andhra Pradesh (Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada) and Telangana (Nagarjunasagar reservoir) at a cost of Rs 20 crore each.
Similarly, water aerodromes are being constructed one each in Swaraj Dweep (Havelock), Shaheed Dweep (Neill Island), Long Island, and Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Agatti, Minicoy and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep Islands.
Two aerodromes are being developed in the state of Assam, namely, Guwahati riverfront and Umrangso Reservoir at a cost of Rs 20 crore each.
A total of three aerodromes were planned in the State of Gujarat, namely Sabarmati Riverfront, Shatrunjay Dam and Sardar Sarovar Dam (Statue of Unity).
Out of these, Statue of Unity, near Kevadia in Gujarat's Narmada district and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad had been operationalised on 31 October 2020.
According to the reply provided in the house, proposal to construct a water aerodrome at Shatrunjay Dam has been dropped by the AAI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated seaplane services between Ahmedabad and Kevadia on 31 October 2020. The services operated by Spice Jet were suspended several times after the launch. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the seaplane operations were later suspended.
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