PANAJI: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and Ministry of Civil Aviation for development of Seaplane services in India was signed today. Union Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Mansukh Mandaviya and Union Minister of State (I/C) Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri were present during the MoU signing ceremony held at Ministry of Civil Aviation, says a press release by the Ministries.

Signing of this MoU is a major milestone for making seaplanes project a reality very soon. This MoU envisages development of Non Scheduled/Scheduled operation of seaplane services within territorial jurisdiction of India under RCS-UDAN scheme of Government of India. As per MoU, a Co-ordination Committee with officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is to be set up for timely completion of operationalisation of Seaplane services at various locations. MoCA, MoPSW, SDCL (Sagarmala Development Company Limited) will consider operationalising of Seaplane operating routes as identified/suggested by all agencies.

Speaking on the occasion, Mandaviya said that signing of the MoU will be a game-changer both for Indian Maritime and Civil Aviation sector as it will not only enhance seamless connectivity across the nation by promoting eco-friendly transportation through Seaplanes but also give a boost to the tourism industry.

On the occasion, Hardeep Singh Puri said that this MoU between the two Ministries will help in expediting the development of new water aerodromes and also operationalisation of new seaplane routes in India. He further stated that this will give a big fillip to the provision of a new kind of tourism service in India.

MoPSW would identify and develop waterfront infrastructure of Aerodromes/locations and obtain required statutory clearances /approvals in coordination with MoCA, DGCA and AAI by defining the timelines for all activities involved in the development of facilities for starting seaplanes operations.

MoCA would carry out bidding and select potential airlines operators based on their commercial consideration through bidding process, incorporate the locations/routes as identified by MoPSW & routes identified through bidding process in UDAN scheme document. MoCA is also obliged to provide funds/financial support in respect of water aerodromes awarded under RCS-UDAN scheme and coordinate with Chief Secretaries of all States for the Seaplanes operations.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sanjeev Kumar, Chairman, Airport Authority of India along with other senior officials were present at the occasion.


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