A seaplane that will connect Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad to Statue of Unity in Kevadia in Narmada district made a successful landing in Kochi on Sunday from Male in Maldives and will arrive in Gujarat on Monday, a week before it takes its official inaugural flight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31.
According to a release from the Defence wing, the seaplane, which will be operated by SpiceJet, is a Twin Otter 300 and registered in the name of M/s Spicejet Technic.
“Sea plane takes off from Goa Waterdrome to Kevadia. Expected to land midday at Pond 3 of #SardarSarovarDam. A new chapter in the history of Tourism & Civil Aviation in the country on the anvil due to epoch making vision of Hon Prime Minister,” Dr Rajiv Kumar Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary (Forest & Environment Dept), said in a tweet.
“It can cover up to 290 kilometres per hour and can fly close to four hours at slower speed, which is ideally used for surveying. At faster speed or for tourism purposes, it should ideally take a break after two hours of run. The run from Male to Kochi was about 750 aerial kilometres, which is why it couldn’t have made it all the way to Gujarat without multiple stops. The fuel burn capacity for its normal cruise speed is just under three hours,” Dr Gupta said.
The seaplane can operate without pressurised cabin (supplemental cabin oxygen) upto 12,500 feet.
There will be eight strips between Ahmedabad and Kevadia and four flights from Ahmedabad. The ticket price per person is Rs 4,800. Fourteen passengers will be seated in one trip in the sea plane which will not take off after 6 pm. It will complete the 220 km journey in 45 minutes.