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Resource Center
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Defence Ministry Keeps Seaplanes At Bay
April 08, 2013
 
Defence Ministry Keeps Seaplanes At Bay


http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-defence-ministry-keeps-seaplanes-at-bay-1820006
 
08 April 2013

Mumbai, Shahkar Abidi: amphibious aircraft that can land on runways or in water bodies during the course of a single journey is all set to get longer.

The Maharashtra Tourism Department Corporation’s (MTDC) plan to begin the seaplane services in April has hit a major roadblock as the ministry of defence (MoD) is apparently going slow in issuing a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for the project.

Sources said the MoD is studying the proposal minutely in view of security reasons and has sought answers to its various queries from M/S Mehair Ltd, the operator of the project.

A defence spokesperson said, “The NoC application is under process.”

M/S Mehair Ltd did not respond to the calls made by DNA. The MoD had earlier refused to give similar NoCs to industrialist Mukesh Ambani for constructing a helipad atop his residence, which is located in South Mumbai.

Once ready, passengers will cover the distance from Juhu airport to Nariman Point in three minutes (take off and landing time not included).

MTDC officials said the journey will cost Rs500 per trip per passenger as compared to over Rs700 charged by radio taxis for the same distance and takes more than an hour.

Apart from Nariman Point, there are plans to operate amphibian planes to Vashi – another top commercial and residential area. The state would further extend the services to other tourist attractions like Bhandardara, Shirdi, Ganpatiphule, Murud-Jangira.

MTDC managing director Jagdish Patil had earlier claimed that all the project-related work would be over by March.

MTDC officials now admit that the project may get delayed indefinitely as nobody knows how much time will it take to get final clearance from the MoD. Initially about five aircraft with a capacity of nine passengers will be operational.