Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said Maharashtra was the first state in India to have a seaplane service. "This service will provide ease to tourists and locals who travel to various destinations in the state," Bhujbal said. Verma said this would be MEHAIR's first step towards covering India with a seaplane network over the next three-five years. In January 2011, the company pioneered the launch of seaplanes in India in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. MEHAIR's test flights were successfully conducted in December 2013 at the Aamby Valley Lake.
MEHAIR plans to include Mula Dam, close to the pilgrimage centres of Shirdi, Shani-Shingnapur and Trimbakeshwar in Ahmednagar, Mahabaleshwar and other major destinations which have no air connectivity. The MTDC is also collaborating with the irrigation ministry to identify various lakes, rivers and around 50 dams, as well as other big and small water bodies in remote areas of the state to be connected by seaplanes. On its part, MEHAIR plans to expand to coastal areas and landlocked states with lakes, rivers or dams for amphibian flight operations. The MTDC has plans to start a seaplane service linking the suburbs with south Mumbai -- in a mere 5-10 minutes -- but the proposal is awaiting central clearance.