Construction of seaplane water aerodromes begins in Gujarat, say officials

The construction of water aerodromes at Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad and near Sardar Sarovar dam in Kevadia colony for the seaplane project has begun, official sources said on Saturday.

“The project is being jointly executed by the Inland Waterways Authority of India and the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. A piece of land has been identified for building the jetties and other facilities at Sabarmati Riverfront and Kevadia colony,” a state government official told. “The entire project is being coordinated by the Union ministry of civil aviation and everything is being built as per their specifications.”

On Saturday, parts of a floating jetty were transported in trucks on the Sabarmati riverfront. The sea plane services in Gujarat are set to begin on October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to inaugurate the service.

According to official sources, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) has given 2,000 square metres of land for the water aerodrome near the Sardar Sarovar dam. This water aerodrome has proposed by the civil aviation department at Panchmukhi lake which is also called lake number three of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The sea planes will land inside this artificial lake.

Under the Government of India’s regional air connectivity scheme Udan-3 and 4, four water aerodromes have been proposed to be built in Gujarat. The other two are at Shetrunjay dam in Palitana and Dharoi dam in Mehsana. The state government will not only allocate land for the project, but will also handle the operation and maintenance of the water aerodromes. Sabarmati Riverfront-Sardar Sarovar Route is among the 16 seaplane routes identified in the country for which hydrographic surveys have been completed.

The Gujarat government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with Union ministry of civil aviation for the sea plane project on July 22, 2020. Ahead of December 2017 state assembly elections, Modi had flown on a seaplane from the Sabarmati Riverfront to Dharoi dam.