Highlights

Recently Shipping Ministry announced that the Central govt is to set up 14 more aerodromes in India to develop the domestic sea plane tourism. Recently, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the seaplane service between Statue of Unity in Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad. PM Modi inaugurated the service on the side lines of the celebration of National Unity Day on 31 October.

Points to Note

  • GoI planned 14 aerodromes under UDAN scheme.
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority are to implement the project jointly.
  • As a start, they have requested the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to conduct hydrographic survey.
  • The hydrographic survey is important to mark the runway and shallow water for landing purposes.
  • Spice Jet Airline operate Seaplane at the Statue of Unity.
  • Indian Airline has secured 18 sea routes under UDAN scheme.

Route

The potential identified route include Guwahati riverfront, Uttarakhand’s Tehri Dam, Assam’s Umrangso reservoir, Maharashtra’s Erai Dam, Andhra Pradesh’s Prakasam Barrage, Maharashtra’s Khindsi Dam, Minicoy and Kavaratti in Lakshadweep, Neil, Havelock, Long and Hutbay islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat’s Shatrunjaya and Dharoi.

UDAN 3.0 Scheme

The inclusion of seaplanes to connect water aerodromes were started under Phase 3 of UDAN scheme. The Government of India approved 6 water airports under the UDAN Phase 3. This includes Gujarat’s Shatrunjay dam, Umrangso reservoir and Guwahati riverfront in Assam and Andhra Pradesh’s Nagarjuna Sagar, Meghalaya’s Jorhat and Shillong. The other was at the Statue of Unity.

Importance

The seaplane projects will increase tourism and hotel businesses in the country. Projects will provide employment to the local rural people. The landing and take off of seaplanes create turbulence in water. This will mix oxygen in water providing a positive impact to the aquatic ecosystem near the aerodrome. It will increase oxygen content and decrease carbon content in the water.

They cause minimal or no environmental impacts. They are one of the very few transport options allowed in Great Barrier Reef.

Govt to set up 14 more Aerodromes.