Another seaplane project is in the pipeline in India, this time driven by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, which has selected charter specialist Air Mauryan (Delhi International) as the preferred operator, reports The Times of India.

Based in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India, Air Mauryan was selected in July after tendering for the “introduction, operation and management of seaplane service in Goa,” a state in western India with long, touristic coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea.

Although it should have done so within 45 days of winning the bid, the company has been given a three-month extension by the GTDC to submit a detailed project report in light of required permission to be obtained from various authorities. The choice of seaplane has not been divulged.

The GTDC had floated the idea of launching a seaplane service about five years ago when it had introduced several new tourism services to improve the destination’s appeal.

In 2015, it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maritime Energy Heli Services Pvt Ltd trading as Mehair to launch a seaplane service. Routes were finalised, and a test flight was conducted that landed in the Mandovi River. The service was set to launch the following season, but the provider never came through.

This time around, the GTDC was confident the project would go ahead, despite some “ungrounded” objections from environmentalists, a spokesperson said.

According to its website, Air Mauryan was launched as an air charter provider in June 2012 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, led by a young entrepreneur, Gaurav Tangri, as managing director. It provides fixed-and rotor-wing charters for the corporate, medical, pilgrim, and political sector, and to off-shore oil clients, amongst others.

According to its website, its charter fleet includes turboprops including Beech (twin turboprop) King Air B200, King Air C90, Pilatus Aircraft, and Piaggio Aerospace aircraft; Cessna Aircraft Company Citation CJ2+ and Hawker Beechcraft jets, as well as Bell Helicopter 412, Bell 230, Bell 407GXP, AW109, Eurocopter EC155, Eurocopter AS350, and Robinson R66 helicopters.

Another seaplane project in India is SpiceJet subsidiary SpiceShuttle (SG, Delhi International), which launched in October 2020 but was grounded in April 2021 due to COVID-19 conditions in India at the time.

The Indian government wants to link at least 19 locations on the mainland’s inland waterways and the Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos by seaplane as part of the SagarMala Programme, a government initiative started in 2015 aimed at unlocking the logistics potential of the country’s waterways and coastline.