Monday, April 25, 2011

India Aims For 100 Seaplanes In Next 10 Years

SOURCE AVIATION WEEK India wants to introduce 100 seaplanes into service in the next 10 years to support tourism and essential services to its coastal and island territories.
The federal government has allowed 100% foreign direct investment in the seaplane sector and has urged foreign operators to take advantage of the offer. India looks at more foreign direct investment in this sector so seaplanes can be introduced on a large scale not only for tourism, but also to provide essential services and medical aid during floods and other emergencies.
“The international market for seaplanes over the next decade is 1,000 units. I think 10% of that must come to India. That is our target,” says S N A Zaidi, India’s civil aviation secretary.
India has a long coastline and there is a need for strong efforts to promote seaplane operations, he says, as such services are significant to improving the economy of the Anadaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshadweep. India’s Civil Aviation Ministry has created a separate department to oversee seaplane-related infrastructure, safety, security and regulatory issues, he adds.
The ministry is also close to commissioning a study on key issues concerning the seaplane operations in the country.
To encourage waterfront tourism, Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd., in association with the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, introduced seaplane service to those islands in January, with an eight-passenger Cessna Caravan 208A.
Caravan photo: Cessna

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