KOCHI: A Twin Otter 300 seaplane of Spicejet Technic -- which arrived from Male, Maldives -- made a successful landing in the Venduruthy channel on Sunday for a technical halt.
The seaplane, a 19-seater that can accommodate 12 passengers, was provided with berthing facility at the naval jetty and refuelled for its onward journey.
It is scheduled to fly to Ahmedabad where it will commence operations as part of a regional connectivity scheme between the Sabarmati riverfront and the Statue of Unity.
The representatives of Spicejet, Indian Navy, CIAL and the district administration were present to supervise the transit halt. The crew of the seaplane were greeted by Vice Admiral A K Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.
The occasion also refreshed fond memories of amphibious aircraft operations from the Kochi naval base in yesteryears. Incidentally, the birth of Indian naval aviation was preceded by a similar landing of the Sealand aircraft in the Venduruthy channel in Kochi on February 4, 1953.
While seaplanes are a natural choice of connectivity between the mainland and Lakshadweep islands, the inland water channels in Kochi and the sheltered lagoons in the islands offer ideal spaces for the operation of seaplanes.