Short Note : Seaplane Operations in India

To boost tourism and connectivity in the remote locations of India, the Indian government has plans to launch several seaplane services in India.

What are seaplanes?

Seaplanes are aircraft modified to operate (i.e. take off and land) from a waterbody. Instead of a landing gear that consists of wheels and gears, the seaplane had a float/pontoon arrangement. This allows a seaplane to float due to the buoyant force on a waterbody.

Why seaplanes?

  • Conventionally, aircraft require a long runway to land and take-off.
  • Land to build a runway is neither cheap nor freely available in most remote locations like mountains and plateaus.
  • Even in a city, runways can be expensive to maintain and can be replaced if a suitable body of water is available.
  • A seaplane can take-off unhindered in any body of water with a certain depth and length. The depth and length depend on the take-off weight of the seaplane.

Seaplane operations in India

India has 3 to 4 lakh ponds in India, several dams enclosing a reservoir, 2,000 river ports, 200 small ports, and 12 major ports. The Indian Government plans seaplane operations in Guwahati riverfront, Nagarjuna Sagar, Sabarmati riverfront, Shatrunjay Dam (Bhavanagar, Gujarat), Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam), Umrangso Reservoir (Assam), Tehri (Uttarakhand), the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep. The seaplanes can be bought from Japan, United Canada, United States or Russia.

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