Jun 16, 2013
MANGALORE: Will Kerala’s first seaplane project have a Karnataka leg? If everything goes as per plan, the Kerala government’s prestigious seaplane service will commence operations in Karnataka’s coast.
Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited has already taken initiatives to the service of the seaplane to Kasargod. Seaplane will offer unique experience for tourists in coastal Karnataka once official procedures are over.
Kerala state owned Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited (KTIL), the nodal agency to implement the Kerala Seaplane Project, has already conducted initial survey at Kottapuram in Nileshwaram and Thalangara in Kasargod. They have found Kottapuram, which is close to Bekal Fort, a suitable place to be added to the seaplane circuit.
The circuit identified by KTIL for seaplane project is Trivandrum Airport – Ashtamudi – Punnamada – Vembanadu – Munnar – Kochi Airport -Cochin Backwaters. A highly placed official in KTIL told STOI that seaplane operations in Kottapuram in Kasargod will commence soon and thereafter the government will decide on extending the service to coastal Karnataka.
The site at Kottapuram is situated in the backwaters of Bekal. The existing boat house station on the site will be developed into seaplane station as per the detailed project report (DPAR) prepared by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd of the Union government, the official said, adding that KTIL will be prepared roadmap towards the Karnataka coast only after Kerala government take a final decision.
Seaplane will give a breath-taking experience to tourists as it can be operated both on water and airstrips. It can take tourists from water body to airstrips and vice versa too. Pilots with a minimum of 250 hours of flying experience are qualified to fly seaplanes as per the DPAR. Beaches, backwaters and beauty of landscape can be enjoyed through seaplane ride.
DPAR makes it clear that seaplanes will be operated with regular airports as base stations, wherein fuelling and maintenance are envisaged ensuring that no undesirable impact happens to local environment.