The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) recently announced its plans to start a seaplane service over the scenic reaches of the Brahmaputra river and the Umrangso reservoir in Assam. This means tourists can now enjoy an aerial view of the stunning expanses in an aircraft designed to take off and land on water, at the three chosen locations of the Brahmaputra waterfront in Guwahati, Umrangso reservoir at Umrangso town in Dima Hasao district, and over the Kaziranga National Park. The latter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its thriving population of the beautiful one-horned rhinoceros.
Authorities estimate that operations may commence in late 2019 or early 2020, after the construction of requisite infrastructure, such as new jetties. The bid to boost tourism in the state is also a part of a larger move to improve connectivity between the north eastern states and the rest of India through the affordable air fare and construction of new airports under the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme. Apart from the newly-assigned locations in Assam, the central government had previously zeroed in Nagarjuna Sagar in Andhra Pradesh-Telangana, and the Sabarmati riverfront, Shatrunjay Dam and near the Statue of Unity at the Sardar Sarovar Dam waterfront in Gujarat.