Seaplanes to connect Andaman islands soon
Islands in Andaman will soon be connected through seaplanes as the Union ministry of civil aviation has approved operations on 13 water aerodrome routes, the ministry said.india Updated: Jan 08, 2019 07:53 IST
Islands in Andaman will soon be connected through seaplanes as the Union ministry of civil aviation has approved operations on 13 water aerodrome routes, the ministry said.
Union minister for civil aviation Suresh Prabhu, who had invited bids for the first time for regional flights under the regional connectivity scheme Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme has received bids for flights from 13 waterports, of which five are from Andaman, while the others are from dams in Gujarat and coastal areas in Kerala, a spokesperson for the ministry said. This is the third time the ministry has invited bids under the scheme.
An official said the minister will approve the move this week and the proposed routes will be awarded by June. The official also said amphibious planes have the ability to take off and land from places that do not have landing strips and where no runway exists. These planes can operate from sea to sea or sea to land.
“Andaman Airways Private Limited and Spicejet have shown interest in operating sea planes. We had opened the window for UDAN 3 on November 2 and financial bids were opened on January 2. Total 111 proposals have been received by 15 airlines to connect different sectors of which 13 are for water aerodromes. The decision to allow sea planes has been taken following extensive survey by aviation regulator directorate general of civil aviation and Airports Authority of India,” said a ministry spokesperson.
Such planes are commonly used by the tourism industry in Maldives and Mauritius. In India, 10 and 14-seater amphibious plane operations are allowed, but they have to give 50% of the seats on discounted rate, as per the conditions of the scheme. The government will then reimburse the operators by applying a cess on more popular routes connecting bigger cities. Guwahati to be connected with Dhaka and Bangkok under UDAN. Following a request from the Assam government, the civil aviation ministry is set to allow international flights under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme.
First Published: Jan 08, 2019 07:53 IST