Sea Planes Current Affairs - 2020
The Union Government of India has launched the fourth round of UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) to enhance the connectivity to regional areas of the country. This phase is to focus on Hilly states, North East Region, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir and Islands.
What is new in Phase 4?
The Viability Gap Funding has been revised. The funding that was provided for Category 2 and 3 aircrafts (> 20 seats) has now been enhanced to all flights in the states of HP, Uttarakhand, J&K, North Eastern states and the islands. Also, the phase will allow operation of helicopter and sea planes. The phase also plans to promote short-haul routes, meaning no monetary support will be given to operators with stages more than 600 kms.
Previous phases of UDAN
In phase 1, around 43 airports were constructed under the scheme. It includes water aerodromes and heliports as well. In phase 2, around 30 airports were constructed and in phase 3, 33 airports were constructed.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation aims to operationalize 1000 routes and more than 100 airports in the next 5 years.
Tags: Civil Aviation Sector • Integrated Heliport • Ministry of Civil Aviation • Regional Air Connectivity • Sea Planes
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.