On Tuesday, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways and the Ministry of Civil Aviation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand seaplane services in India. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, and Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation, were present at the MoU signing event held yesterday at the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The signing of this memorandum of understanding is a significant step toward bringing the seaplanes project to life as soon as possible. This MoU envisions the establishment of non-scheduled/scheduled seaplane services within India's legal boundaries under the government of India's RCS-UDAN project.
According to the MoU, a Coordination Committee comprised of officials from the Ministries of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), and Tourism (MoT) will be established to ensure the prompt completion of the implementation of Seaplane services at various sites. The Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Public Works, and SDCL (Sagarmala Development Company Limited) would consider integrating seaplane operating routes identified by these authorities.
Mandaviya stated at this event that the signing of the MoU will be a game-changer for both the Indian Maritime and Civil Aviation sectors, as it will not only improve seamless connectivity throughout the country by promoting eco-friendly seaplane transportation but will also boost the tourism industry.
Hardeep Singh Puri stated that this Memorandum of Understanding between the two Ministries will aid in the introduction of freshwater aerodromes and the operationalization of new seaplane routes in India. He added that this will provide a significant boost to the development of a new type of tourism service in India.
MoCA would conduct bidding and choose possible airline operators based on their commercial viability, incorporating MoPSW-selected locations and routes discovered during the bidding process into the UDAN project document. MoCA is also obligated to offer funds/financial support for water aerodromes granted under the RCS-UDAN initiative and to coordinate seaplane operations with the Chief Secretaries of the States.
The event was attended by Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman, Airport Authority of India.