The ministry of civil aviation said INR 20 crore has been sanctioned for the water aerodrome at Prakasam Barrage. Vijayawada got one of the 14 water aerodromes awarded by the Centre to facilitate the sanctioned 28 seas plane routes.
General VK Singh, minister of state in the civil aviation ministry, replying to MP GVL Narasimha Rao, said the Centre has set focus on improving aerial connectivity to remote locations and making travel affordable.
Hence it sanctioned 28 seaplane routes under the UDAN scheme. For this purpose, 14 water aerodromes are being constructed in six states/UTs for INR 287 crore.
The list of 14 water aerodromes being constructed includes one each in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana (Nagarjun- asagar reservoir) for INR 20 crore each.
Narasimha Rao opined that the Andhra Pradesh government must invite airline operators and offer concessions to bid for seaplane and helicopter services from Visakhapatnam.
As cruise tourism has already received a positive response in Visakhapatnam, seaplane and helicopter services should be promoted in a big way to improve regional connectivity and tourism.
He also said that seaplane services to places such as Bhimavaram and Kakinada would improve connectivity and boost business in the tourism sector. Mr. Narasimha Rao further said he would pursue the matter with the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.
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Approximately 370 routes are being put in under the UDAN 4.2 scheme of which 100 are seaplane routes, 60-odd are helicopter routes, and the balance is fixed-wing routes.
So far, 425 UDAN routes have been operationalised across the country, connecting 68 UDAN airports, including two water aerodromes and eight heliports.
An airport which is included in the awarded routes of UDAN and requires upgradation/development for commencement of RCS (regional connectivity scheme) operations is developed under the ‘Revival/upgradation of unserved and underserved airports/heliports/water aerodromes’ scheme.