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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.
The Union Government may soon consider adopting a three-pronged approach to revitalise domestic retail and wholesale trade.
The three-pronged approach includes (i) Establishing a regulatory body for national internal trade (retail and wholesale) (ii) Comprehensive domestic trade policy and (ii) Board for Internal Trade.
Need for new approach
- Domestic trade mainly comprises non-corporate small businesses providing employment to an estimated 460 million people.
- Currently, there is no single regulatory body or Ministry for such six crore small businesses in the country that have collective annual turnover of around Rs. 30 lakh crore.
- The current approach policy regime and the environment is considered only conducive for foreign retail giants and their Indian partners or counterparts
- The proposed three-pronged policy approach will address need of these small businesses with an aim to generate employment, improve financial inclusion of small traders.
- It will also ensure ease of doing business by eliminating multiplicity of approvals, improve competiveness of economy and boost overall demand to boost growth.
- Besides, the new strategy will also help to link Central Government’s flagship initiatives such as Digital India, Skill India and Make In India with these small businesses.