Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 21: The first success of the recently-concluded ‘Emerging Kerala’ investors’ meet could be the seaplane project to be operationalised in seven tourist destinations in the state in January, says Tourism Minister A.P. Anilkumar.
“We got 58 proposals, including two from seaplane manufacturers, for this project. A feasibility study indicated it as a viable project and a detailed report is expected to be out next month. We want to launch the project in January next year,” Anilkumar told reporters here.
Seaplanes are either single-engine (maximum nine-seater) or twin-engine aircrafts (more than 10 seats) with capability to land both on water and land.
“Even though 25 locations have been identified, to start with we will have it in seven destinations. The cost would be determined by market forces,” Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said.
Billa, however, did not specify the destinations shortlisted for the project.
The state government’s responsibility is to ensure that a jetty is set up in each of these locations.
“The demand for this (seaplanes) is huge as connectivity is a problem with major destinations in the state. When ready, it would be a boon for tourists who could move from one destination to the other at ease,” Anilkumar added.
The most popular tourist destinations in the state include Kovalam, Kumarakom and Alappuzha, besides places in northern districts where there are water bodies.
Seaplanes are operational in Andaman and Nicobar islands and also in the Maldives.