To boost tourism in Assam, the State-run Airport Authority of India (AAI), will introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam for the first time, according to reports. ‘After a countrywide study, it was decided to introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam. To boost tourism and connectivity, three riverfronts were selected in Assam to introduce the water based ferry for the first time in India,’ said AAI Regional Executive Director Sanjeev Jindal.
He added, ‘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 and the famous Kaziranga National Park.’
Jindal, who had come here last week to inspect the 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.
Tourism expert and former administrator, Subhash Das, shared that a business model or a special purpose vehicle must be formed to run the seaplanes and water aerodrome operations. ‘It should be decided whether the operations would be a venture between the State government and the AAI, or handled by the authorities alone. Profit making public sector organizations and corporate houses could be involved to run the new water based transport.’
Jindal stated that from the tourism point of view, there is a huge scope for developing air connectivity between the northeastern region and neighbouring countries including China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh.