A recent development in the travel sector is that soon, six water aerodrome sites across the country will be introducing helicopter and seaplane facilities. This will definitely give wings to your dreams of flying on helicopters and seaplanes. For starters, the sites chosen for the project are the Sabarmati river fronts, Shatrunjay Dam, and Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam) in Gujarat, Nagarjuna Sagar in Telangana and Umrangso Reservoir and Guwahati in Assam.
The said plan will be implemented under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. It’s a great idea to start such services in India because India has the potential to kick-start as many as 10,000 seaplanes. What makes it easier is that the country has around 3 – 4 lakhs ponds, 200 small ports, 2000 river ports, 12 major ports and plenty of dams, which will definitely bring down the cost. This has been stressed upon time and again by the Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The news was broken to people when recently, while replying to a question in Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan informed that seaplanes, as well as helicopter services, are being planned at as many as six water aerodrome sites across the country under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. However, he added that there is no proposal to start seaplane and helicopter operations on 1,680 km length of Ganga river for passenger transport for the time being at least.
We’ve heard about Gadkari participating in a trial run of a seaplane of the budget carrier SpiceJet at Girgaum Chowpatty off the Mumbai coast. And, Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking a seaplane ride, while travelling from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi Dam in the northern part of Gujarat. Therefore, there’s definitely scope for this development to take wings in the future.