VIJAYAWADA: In order to cement its position as a tourism hub, the State government is playing with the idea of introducing seaplane tourism. Both Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney and secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation Pradeep Singh Kharola, believe the State has the potential to successfully conduct seaplane tourism.
"After surveying four spots- Berm Park, Prakasam Barrage, Nagarjuna Sagar and Hussain Sagar, the authorities have said that these places are feasible for maintaining water aerodromes (an open stretch of water where planes can land and take off)," said a Vijayawada Airport Authority (VAA) official who was part of the survey team, on condition of anonymity.
“However, a few infrastructural additions, such as jetty platforms, aviation control rooms, improved security terminals, need to be made before commencing operations,” he added.The official also said that the former TDP government had proposed a similar project and even conducted tests two years back in partnership with a private firm called Turbo Aviation. However, the project proved to be a failure.
As per the tentative route decided by the authorities, the ride will commence from Berm Park followed by Nagarjuna Sagar, moving ahead to Hussain Sagar and finally conclude at Prakasam Barrage. Tourists will also get an option to fly directly from Vijayawada Airport to Berm Park using seaplanes. The plane will be able to ferry 12 tourists at one go.
The aviation department has set its eyes on SpiceJet to collaborate for the project in the State as it already operates seaplanes in various parts of the country. The trip will be a joyride for those interested in having an aerial view of the State, including tourist spots like the auspicious Kanaka Durga Temple, picturesque Bhavani Island and many more.