Guwahati, March 4, 2019
You would have seen them in Hollywood flicks and in glossy travel magazines of some luxury island resort. But now you’ll get to see them live in the Northeast.
With a motive to boost tourism, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry has agreed to kick-start a seaplane service between Brahmaputra river in Guwahati, Assam to Umiam river in Shillong, Meghalaya. Shillong MP Vincent Pala has taken up the proposal with Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, who in return has approved the plan.
A seaplane is a powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water. Seaplanes that can also take off and land on airfields are in a subclass called amphibious aircraft.
India’s first water aerodromes are slated to come up in Chilika Lake in Odisha, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat.
Sites in Odisha, Gujarat, Assam, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have been identified by the Airports Authority of India for water aerodromes. The aerodromes would be set up near tourist spots and locations of religious importance as per the proposal.
It may be mentioned that the Northeast region was among the priority areas to be brought under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), also known as Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) during the second round of bidding that was concluded in January 2018.