A Twin Otter 300 seaplane of Spicejet Technic took off from Male, Maldives and made a successful landing inside Venduruthy channel on 25 Oct 20 for technical halt. The seaplane is 19-seater, which will be able to accommodate 12 passengers.
The seaplane was provided assistance with berthing facility at Naval jetty and refueling for their onward journey. The seaplane is scheduled to fly to Ahmedabad where it will commence flying as a part of regional connectivity scheme between Sabarmati river front and Statue of Unity. Seaplanes are a natural choice of connectivity between mainland and Lakshadweep islands and inland water channels at Kochi and sheltered lagoons in the islands offer ideal space for the seaplanes to land and take-off.
Representatives of Spicejet, Indian Navy, CIAL and District administration were present to supervise the transit halt. The crew of the seaplane were greeted by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command The occasion also refreshed fond memories of amphibious aircraft operations from Kochi naval base in the yesteryears. Incidentally, the birth of Indian Naval Aviation was also preceded by a similar landing of Sealand aircraft in the Venduruthy channel at Kochi on 04 Feb 1953.