Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday requested Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju to explore a regulatory regime for single-engine seaplanes, keeping in mind all safety aspects.
As of now, the regulatory regime in India allows twin-engine seaplanes to be used for scheduled commercial operations.
Globally, there is a move towards allowing single-engine seaplanes to be used for scheduled commercial operations.
"It has been gathered that the European regulator is actively considering coming out with regulatory guidelines for these operations. The Indian regulator is also looking at regulatory regime along these lines for single-engine seaplanes, considering all safety aspects," an official said.
Commercial operation of seaplanes will require a regulatory regime, aircraft and infrastructure in the form of waterdromes.
The waterdromes will have some infrastructure, which would be water-based, and other land-based infrastructure such as scanning and X-ray machines.
The Shipping Ministry is looking at developing infrastructure that would meet the regulatory requirements on the water, including platform jetties and navigational aids, the official added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew in a single-engine seaplane on the last day of campaign for the second and final phase of Gujarat elections, sparking a political row, with former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah saying he violated security guidelines by flying in a single-engine seaplane.
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