Union Civil Aviation Ministry has given in-principle approval to set up water aerodromes in the country. To start with it has identified five states: Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Assam for development of water aerodromes. In the first phase of the project, Chilka Lake (Odisha), Sabarmati River Front and Sardar Sarovar Dam (Gujarat) have been identified for the development of such facilities.
Airdrome is location from which aircraft flight operations take place, regardless of whether they involve air cargo, passengers. The development of aerodromes projects in India will pave way for operation of amphibian planes (both in land and water) to enhance air connectivity. These water aerodromes will be set up near tourist locations and places of religious importance.
Since there is no historical data, the project will be done on a pilot basis, initially. The entity looking to set up water aerodrome has to take approvals from authorities, including ministries of defence, home, environment and forests, and shipping. DGCA already has issued regulations prescribing procedure and requirement for licensing of water aerodromes.
The water aerodrome cannot be used for scheduled air transport services without licence. The issued licence will be valid for two years. Initially, provisional licence will be issued for period of six months, during which implementation of water aerodrome operation will be monitored and regular licence will be accorded afterwards.
Sea-planes are small fixed-wing aircrafts designed for taking off and landing on water and do not require capital-intensive infrastructure for operations. They are considered ideal for high-end travel to destinations that are far by road and are not equipped with airports. They require either 1-km long airstrip or water body, which is one km long and at least 10 feet deep.