India's first seaplane service is likely to take off from Sabarmati riverfront to the Statue of Unity on 31 October, if all goes as per plans, said Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, as per a PTI report. No-frills carrier SpiceJet is in the process of procuring a seaplane for the venture from the Maldives which is expected to arrive on 26 October for the first regular service on the about 205 km stretch.
The shipping minister said benefits will be provided to the air carrier under the government's Udaan scheme.
"Once launched this will give a major boost to tourism," the minister said and added that this will be one of its kind service with a 19-seater plane that can accommodate 12 passengers.
The Gujarat government in July this year had cleared a proposal to enter into a tri-party agreement with Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the construction of four water aerodromes under the regional connectivity scheme for seaplane service.
A water aerodrome or seaplane base is an area of open water used by seaplanes, float-planes and amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off.
Sabarmati and Sardar Sarovar- Statue of Unity route are included in the 16 seaplane routes identified in the country and hydrographic surveys of this route had been completed, as per the government.