• Regulatory framework for seaplane operations in place
  • India currently undergoing a civil aviation paradigmatic shift

NEW DELHI :  Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Hardeep Singh Puri, has said that with a coastline of more than 7,500 kms, a large number of dams and river ports, 200 small ports and 13 major ports, there is a huge potential for seaplanes operations in India.

while Addressing the plenary session on India Maritime Summit 2021, Mr Puri said, “India is going through a civil aviation paradigmatic shift. Though the seaplane operations in India are still in a nascent stage and business models need to be developed to make these operations viable- economically and sustainably, a regulatory framework for seaplane operations has been put in place.”

Capacities for creation of infrastructure of seaplane operations like hangers, floating docks, flight tanks, buoys, etc., and capacity building of operation, vis-a-vis the availability of trained pilots, AMEs, must develop holistically. “That the potential for seaplane operations is enormous, is obvious and evident not only to those of us in policy formulation, but also economic stakeholders who wish to exploit these potentials for increase in tourism and related activities,” Mr Puri added.

Mr Puri informed, We have currently operationalised 311 of the 760 identified routes and are planning to take the number of operationalised routes to 1000. We also have 100 airports currently under construction and several greenfield airports. With the seaplane services launched from the Statue of Unity along the Narmada riverfront last year, the ministry has received a number of proposals from various states for launch of similar services and operations. The potential that exists is enormous and we have set up an institutional mechanism with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, the Ministry of Tourism and other state governments.

Further, the Minister spoke about India’s growth in the maritime sector and emerging as the leading blue economy globally. “It is estimated that around 95 per cent of India’s trade by volume, and 70 per cent of trade by value, is carried through sea routes. According to the draft policy framework for India’s blue economy, it is said to have contributed to about 4 per cent to our GDP. The size of the blue trade in India is estimated to be around to be USD 137 billion,” he added.