Civil Aviation Sector – CA Policy 2016, UDAN, Open Skies, etc.

India’s First Seaplane Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Seaplanes

Mains level : Seaplane connectivity in India

The first of the five seaplane services in Gujarat, connecting Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district, will be inaugurated on October 31

India’s first seaplane

  • A seaplane is a fixed-winged aeroplane designed for taking off and landing on water. It offers the public the speed of an aeroplane with the utility of a boat.
  • The first seaplane project of the country is part of a directive of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • As per the directive, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) requested state governments of Gujarat, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the administration of Andaman & Nicobar to propose potential locations for setting up water aerodromes to boost the tourism sector.

Where will the seaplane connect?

  • In Kevadia, the proposed Terminal will be spread over 0.51 acres in the premises of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd., located in the Panchmuli lake (Dyke 3) of the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Limdi village.
  • It is approximately 90 km from Vadodara, 150 km from Surat and 200 km from Ahmedabad — with an aerial distance of 74.6km from Vadodara airport.

What impact will it have on the environment?

  • The water aerodrome is not a listed project/activity in the Schedule to the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 and its amendments.
  • However, the activities proposed under the water aerodrome project may have a similar type of impact as that of an airport.
  • There has to be a bathymetric and hydrographic survey by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).
  • 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.
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