Guwahati-Shillong seaplane service gets Centre’s nod

SHILLONG: The Civil Aviation Ministry has agreed to start seaplane service between the Brahmaputra river in Guwahati and Umiam river in the state in an effort to promote tourism.
Shillong MP Vincent Pala informed that he had discussed the matter with the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, who has approved the idea.
Generally, seaplanes are described as fixed-wing aircraft that is designed for taking off and landing on water.
The Civil Aviation Ministry approved a proposal for setting up of water aerodromes in the country last year, with Chilika Lake in Odisha, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Sabarmati River Front in Gujarat being identified in the first phase for development of such facilities.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued regulations in June last year, prescribing procedures and requirement for licencing of water aerodromes. The Airports Authority of India has already identified the sites in Odisha, Gujarat, Assam, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh where water aerodrome would be developed.
As far as the Shillong airport is concerned, he said that during a recent meeting, he had urged airline companies such as Spice Jet and Indigo to start operations in the state.
In addition, he has also asked the Civil Aviation Minister to set up a training centre at the Shillong airport to train the youth of the state who are looking to make a career in the aviation sector.
On the subject of roads, Pala said, “In the entire North East, Meghalaya is a state which is connected with good national highways. These projects don’t come easily… we have to toil hard and do a lot of lobbying for these,” he added.
As far as the land customs station in Dawki is concerned, Pala said that the Union government has sanctioned over Rs 100 crore for it, but the work has slowed down due to a number of issues.
“We want to open more markets at the border and improve the existing infrastructure,” he said.
Talking about employment opportunities, Pala said that different police and paramilitary forces, including Delhi Police, are now recruiting in Shillong and that many tribals from the state are working in agencies such as CISF, railway police and Delhi Police.

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