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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
These historic coral islands are poised to be connected by a faster and innovative mode of transport in the form of amphibian aircraft connectivity, popularly known as ‘Sea Plane’, as the Central Planning Commission has cleared its operation here from October 1, 2010 i.e. barely a month from today.
Instead of procurement of helicopters, the Planning Commission has given its nod for Sea Plane operation as Pilot Project on 50:50 partnership basis, the Director (Tourism), Andaman & Nicobar Administration, Shri Binay Bhushan informed at Port Blair a couple of days ago.
According to him, the A & N Administration has signed a MoU with Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd., which will run the Pilot Project initially; as I had written in a post of mine about a month ago. As per the MoU, PHHL will operate Sea Plane from October 1, 2010, for island hopping by tourists in the breathtaking archipelago. The A & N Administration has provided an amount of Rs 146.40 Lakhs as advance to effect the operation, Binay Buhushan told the media.
Meanwhile, as per The Daily Telegrams, tenders for inducting sea planes on wet lease bases were invited and the successful bidder M/s Maritime Energy Heli Air Service Pvt. Ltd. will source the aircraft. The PHHL is currently operating chopper services connecting all the major islands in the archipelago.
To start with, Seaplanes will be available in the range of eight to 18 seaters. Operating the seaplane will cost about Rs 1 crore a month, including lease rental and operational expenses, that will be equally shared by the two government agencies.
This promising project, when materializes, is certainly to be greeted with warmth by the islanders and the tourists alike and the proposed operation of Sea Plane here also augurs well for the ensuing tourism and festive season.
As I had written earlier too, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration has chosen some of the most beautiful islands for being linked by the seaplane with the capital Port Blair. These include the happening Havelock Island (rated among the best beaches globally), Barren Island (an active volcano that most recently came to life five years ago), Neil Island and Diglipur (North Andaman).
All this would mean that there’s going to be an alluring bonus for the tourists visiting the tropical paradise of Andaman & Nicobar, henceforth and that’s the enchanting, spanking new Seaplane service for matchless island hopping, which is going to be India’s very first Sea Plane service.
The bottom-line – ‘Air Andaman’ is gonna be livelier, come October 1st… Hurray…!!! :-)