The government of India plans to set up four water aerodromes in Andaman & Nicobar Islands this year, as it looks to develop the union territory as a tourist destination that can compete with the likes of Maldives and Mauritius.

“We recently sent a team from Andaman & Nicobar to the Maldives so that the Union Territory can build similar capacities, and ensure that the water aerodrome projects will be implemented successfully,” Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, told Moneycontrol in a recent interaction.

“By the end of this calendar year, we should have the water aerodromes in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. We have identified four places for these water aerodromes,” Padhee added.

The four locations for the upcoming water aerodromes are Havelock Island, Long Island, Port Blair and Neil Island. These aerodromes will have seaplanes connecting these four destinations to cities in southern India.

Apart from Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the government has similar plans for Lakshawadeep too. “Both archipelagoes have similar conditions and seaplane operations will give a boost to tourism and thus the local economies, and at the same time ensuring that the ecology is not disturbed,” said Padhee.