New Delhi, Dec 28: The government has sped up the work on the use of seaplanes as a new mode of transport likely to link small towns before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Apart from speeding up the process to frame norms for the mode of transport, the government, according to a report, is also planning to bring them under the regional connectivity scheme.

This has come barely a few weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi boarded a seaplane from Sabarmati river to Dharoi dam in Mehsana district during the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017.

Soon after PM’s ride in a seaplane, shipping minister Nitin Gadkari, aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju met to work out the broad outline of the seaplane policy. According to a report, while the civil aviation ministry is expected to frame regulations for seaplanes, the shipping ministry is likely to set the infrastructure standard. (Also Read: Seaplanes in India: Here’s The History of Craft Since Its First Flight in 2010)

“I told the civil aviation minister, either you make a law or the shipping ministry will call it ‘airboat’ and make a new law to enable it. So, the two ministries are working together to draft a new law,” Gadkari said. Saying that the seaplanes will have a great impact on transportaion, Gadkari said, “A seaplane in Mumbai can shuttle passengers between the city and Shirdi. It can take people to Goa.”

“Seaplanes will fit in the regional connectivity scheme of the government. All issues, including whether single-engine planes can be allowed and how to train pilots to fly these planes, will be addressed quickly,” an official told TOI.