Dec 07, 2017 23:26 IST
The first seaplane demo flight will take off from the city airport and land in the water at Girgaum chowpatty on Saturday in the presence of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, minister of road transport & highways, shipping and water resources Nitin Gadkari and ministry of civil aviation minister Gajapathi Raju.
Following this, Fadnavis is expected to address the audience.
Ten to 14-seater amphibious planes, which can land on water and land, will be operational soon. In October, SpiceJet had announced its decision to buy more than 100 aircraft for $400 million. It signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Setouchi Holdings Inc, a Japan-based small aircraft company. SpiceJet conducted demo runs in Nagpur and Guwahati in the first week of October. An airline official said this will, however, be the first trial on water. The airline said it plans to boost regional connectivity through the introduction of these seaplanes, which will connect regions that have poor-quality airfields. The cost of each aircraft is around Rs4crore.
“The introduction of smaller fixed-wing aircraft will connect places that lacked infracture earlier. Amphibious planes have the potential to boost tourism. They can not only be used for leisure travel, but also for emergency evacuations and to reach remote areas,” said an airline official.
Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet said the airline has been a huge supporter of the government’s regional connectivity scheme from the beginning.
“Seaplanes can be used during medical emergencies. However, they can only fly short routes,” said president of Air Passengers Association of India, Sudhakar Reddy.