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Floatplane operations planned

A Correspondent


The service will facilitate easy travel by tourists.


Nedumbassery: After the proposal for private chopper operations, the Cochin International Airport Limited is now embarking on a plan to launch floatplane operations to the various tourist destinations in the State. 

According to a senior company official, CIAL has been approached by a Delhi based agency called Maritime Energy Heli Services Pvt. Ltd with a proposal to launch amphibian flight services from Kochi. 

It has already completed a preliminary technical feasibility study of the surrounding water bodies and now proposes to commence flying from next October to coincide with the upcoming tourist season. 

“Through the initiative, CIAL looks forward to play a vital role in ensuring a seamless travel network and promote tourism in the state by positioning itself as the gateway to Kerala,” said the official.   The service will enhance the movement of tourists to the different tourist spots on their landing at the airport here.  As per the proposal, the destinations proposed at the initial stage include Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Munnar and Thekkady. 

According to officials, amphibian aircraft are highly flexible and can be fitted into existing packages of travel. It will also enable the travel agents and tour operators to create packages for multiple destinations even for a short stay of tourists.  

“With this, tourists can travel to more than one destination on the same day and it is also suitable for sightseeing and short thrill rides (take-off and landing) on lakes, dams and backwaters,” said the official. 

Efforts are also on to assess the investment required for launching the service and identify the resorts to which the services are to be operated.   “Amphibian operations require setting up facilities like a floating jetty and speedboats are required at the landing points. In addition, there is also a need to main the quality of water to enable a smooth landing and take-off,” he added.  

CIAL has already announced its plans to develop an exclusive ‘heli-hub' at the airport here and is set to commence work on a dedicated ‘helicopter terminal' along with six helipads on its operational area. It has prepared a blueprint of the requisite infrastructure build up and regulatory approvals.

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