MTDC and Mehair launched seaplane service
The Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (MEHAIR) jointly with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) launched the India’s first seaplane service from mainland at Mumbai, through which tourists will be taken by two Amphibian aircraft to tourist spots like water bodies where there are no runways. The first service will take off on March 10, 2014 from Mumbai to AambyValleyCity.
About India’s first seaplane service
- First of its kind in mainland India that will link Mumbai’s Juhu airport with tourist destinations of the state.
- Will be launched with a Cessna 206 Amphibian aircraft. Another Cessna 208 will be inducted into service by April, 2014. Both these models can accommodate 4 to 9 passengers.
- First phase: MEHAIR will roll out its service to destinations viz. AmbayValley lake, Gangapur Dam (Nashik), Mula Dam (Meherabad/Shirdi), Pawna Dam (Lonavla), Varasgaon Dam (Lavasa) and Dhoom Dam (Panchgani /Mahabaleshwar).
- Second phase: MEHAIR will connect Mumbai with Konkan coast viz. Ganpatipule, Harihareshwar, Tarkarli and Murud Janjira.
- MEHAIR has plans to roll out 25 seaplanes over the next five years operating in most of the major states of the country.
What are Sea-planes?
- Sea-planes are small aircrafts that can touch down on land as well as on water, and do not require capital-intensive infrastructure for operations.
- Thus, they are considered ideal for high-end travel to destinations that are far by road and are not equipped with airports.
- They require either a 1-km long airstrip or a water body, which is one km long and at least 10 feet deep.
Note: In 2011, Mehair pioneered the launch of seaplane in India, the service has been operational in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.