SpiceJet contemplating using seaplanes on the Brahmaputra
Low-cost airline SpiceJet is currently mulling introducing seaplanes on the Brahmaputra river in Assam. Speaking at the Global Investors Summit 2018, SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said that using seaplanes would make the Brahmaputra the largest waterway in the world and would also yield significant dividends in the tourism sector. Here's more on what he said.
Airports killed investment and innovation in seaplanes
The first seaplane to have a successful flight was the Hydravion in 1910. Since then, there have been several experiments with seaplanes. However, in the post-war era, with heavy investments going into setting up airports, interest in seaplanes faded.
SpiceJet plans to improve Assam's agricultural sector
Singh said that seaplanes could be used to connect areas that are difficult to access by roads or other means. He also said that SpiceJet had plans to connect Assam to "Thailand, Myanmar, and other ASEAN countries" to boost the region's economic growth. Creating a "modern supply chain" in agriculture, and building storage capacities across Assam is also on SpiceJet's agenda, added Singh.
Several states have reportedly shown interest in seaplanes
In the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Singh had said that seaplanes had immense potential and could convert any pond into an airport and any river into a runway. Many states have reportedly shown interest in Singh's idea with hopes of boosting tourism. However, Singh hasn't spoken about detailed plans for implementation or a timeframe for implementation yet.