TravelFour Water Aerodromes Proposed For Coastal Karnataka Through Udan...

Four Water Aerodromes Proposed For Coastal Karnataka Through Udan Scheme, ET TravelWorld

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The state government’s proposal to develop four water aerodromes in coastal Karnataka is seen as a significant initiative with the potential to benefit the tourism sector. Water aerodromes are facilities designed to support seaplane operations, and can offer enhanced connectivity and accessibility to popular tourist destinations.

A network of water aerodromes along with land-based airports will improve air connectivity and will be particularly useful for localised short-distance travelling.

Minister of state for civil aviation Gen Dr VK Singh (retired), while answering a query in the Rajya Sabha recently, stated that the Karnataka government has proposed to develop water aerodromes at Malpe and Byndoor (both in Udupi district), Kali River Estuary (Karwar, Uttara Kannada district) and in Mangaluru (Dakshina Kannada district) which are available in the Udan (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme document.

Odisha's Utkela airport gets license to start flight operations

The Director General Civil Aviation Monday (DGCA) on Monday said it has issued the license for Utkela airport in Odisha’s Kalahandi district to start flight operations.Utkela airport, is among the airstrips that have been listed under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN. This license from Civil Aviation has paved the way for regular flights of commercial aeroplanes from Utkella to Bhubaneswar and Raipur, capitals of Odisha and its neighbour Chhattisgarh respectively.

Udan is a market-driven ongoing scheme. Based on their assessment of demand on routes, interested airlines submit their proposals at the time of bidding under Udan. A water aerodrome which is included in the awarded routes of Udan and requires upgradation/ development for commencement of Udan operations, is developed under the ‘Revival of unserved and underserved airports/ heliports/ water aerodromes’ scheme. Under the Udan scheme, the development of waterside of water-aerodromes will be taken up by the Ministry of Ports Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and the land side development will be undertaken by the respective state governments, he stated.

Captain C Swamy, director of ports & inland water transport, said, “We have submitted the feasibility report to the Sagarmala cell of the Union government. We have requested budgetary provisions for engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for basic infrastructure, so that the private players get some cushion, which is yet to be approved. This proposal has been submitted through the Karnataka Maritime Board. If implemented, the project will be a game-changer for the tourism sector. We have always been talking about the tourism potential, by creating some infrastructure, we will give confidence to the private investors for operations. If it comes in a big way, then seaplanes can connect the Karnataka coast with Lakshadweep. The project is under positive consideration. Separate estimates have been prepared for each port,” he said.

Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president M Ganesh Kamath said water aerodromes are poised to enhance the tourism sector. “Nevertheless, there is a pressing need to develop basic infrastructure at all tourist destinations,” he said. The heli-tourism project aimed at connecting various places of worship in Coastal Karnataka is still pending launch.

  • Published On Aug 15, 2023 at 06:00 PM IST

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