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India’s first seaplane project

Topics Covered: Infrastructure- Waterways.

India’s first seaplane project:

India’s first seaplane service in Gujarat is set to begin from 31 October, the anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

  • It will connect Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia.
  • The service will be operated by Spicejet Airlines.


Significance of seaplane projects and the potential:

  • Given the large and small waterbodies that dot the country, India provides an ideal opportunity for seaplane operations.
  • Unlike a conventional aircraft, a seaplane can land both on a waterbody and on land, thereby opening up more opportunities for business and tourism.
  • Such projects provide faster and hassle free travel option for the long, treacherous and hilly regions of the country.

Environmental concerns:

The water aerodrome is not a listed project/activity in the Schedule to the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 and its amendments.

  • However, the Expert Appraisal Committee was of the opinion that the activities proposed under the water aerodrome project may have a similar type of impact as that of an airport.

May affect Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The sanctuary is located at an approximate aerial distance of 2.1 km from the proposed project site.

Positive impact on the environment:

During seaplane operations, there will be turbulence created in the water while takeoff and landing of seaplanes.

  • This will lead to more operation process i.e. mixing of oxygen in the water.
  • This will have a positive impact on the aquatic ecosystem near seaplane operations increasing oxygen content and decreasing carbon content in this system.

How are these services regulated?

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will manage the Project of Seaplane in Inland Waterways and Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) will manage the Projects of seaplane in Coastal Areas.

  • IWAI and SDCL will coordinate with the Ministry of Shipping, flight operators, Ministry of Tourism as well as DGCA.

Sources: Indian Express.