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Seaplanes to boost tourism in northeast

Seaplanes to boost tourism in northeast
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In an ambitious initiative to boost tourism, the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) will introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam for the first time, a top AAI official said.

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Agartala : In an ambitious initiative to boost tourism, the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) will introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam for the first time, a top AAI official said.

"After a countrywide study, it was decided to introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam.

To boost tourism and connectivity, three river fronts were selected in Assam to introduce the water based ferry for the first time in India," AAI Regional Executive Director Sanjeev Jindal told IANS.

He said: "At the end of next year or by early 2021, the water aerodrome or seaplane services would be launched in Brahmaputra river and Umrangso reservoir.

The three locations selected for the seaplanes include Guwahati, Umrangso (in Dima Hasao district) and the famous Kaziranga National Park."

Jindal, who had come here last week to inspect the under construction work of the Rs 500 crore newly designed Agartala airport project, said that not much investment is required to commence the seaplane services in Assam.

"Three jetties would be built in three locations at a cost of Rs 50 crores. Some other small works have to be done before launching the new ferrying mode," he added.

"An area of open water that can be used by seaplanes or amphibious planes for landing and take-off is called a water aerodrome. They could be connected to the terminal building on land where the pilot can choose to dock like a ship."

"The water aerodrome or seaplanes services were planned to be introduced under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, announced by the government earlier.

"UDAN is under the regional connectivity scheme that aims at regional airport development with the objective of ''let the common citizens of the country fly'' by making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development."

For the first time in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had used a seaplane in Ahmedabad in December 2017.

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