Civil aviation ministry to build infrastructure in NE

AGARTALA, Sep 26: The union civil aviation ministry has taken a host of initiatives to build infrastructure for expanding air connectivity in the northeastern region, and has earmarked Rs 3500 crore for the purpose, a top Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said on Thursday.
“There is passenger pressure in the Northeast as air connectivity is a dependable means of transport in the region,” the AAI’s Executive Director (Northeast), Sanjeev Jindal, said here.
Due to availability of passengers, many international airlines are showing interest to introduce flights in the region, he said.
“Therefore there are new initiatives to build more infrastructure for expanding air connectivity in the region. The ministry has earmarked Rs 3500 crore for spending in next three years for the purpose,” he said.
Jindal said Rs 1250 crore would be spent on constructing a new terminal building at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam. It is likely to be completed by 2020.
Another Rs 500 crore would be spent to build a new international terminal at the Maharaja Bir Bikram airport here in Tripura. Out of the total fund, Rs 484 crore would be spent for the new terminal building, he said.
The airport in Agartala will become the first in the country to have a body scanner for hassle-free travelling.
Facilities like prayer room, commercial outlets, childcare room and commercial lounges would also be built in the new terminal building of the airport, he said.
The AAI will also install cargo facilities in the airport, Jindal said, adding that there is a strong need for it and cold storage in Agartala.
A new airport would be built in Hollongi in Arunachal, and a greenfield airport would be set up in Silchar (Assam) in the next three years.
Jindal said Air Asia will introduce air service linking Delhi to Agartala in October.
“The AAI is also planning to start operations in Tura in Meghalaya,” he said.
Referring to other projects of the AAI in the Northeast, he said 20 helipads would be set up in Arunachal by the civil aviation ministry and national helicopter carrier Pawan Hans. The AAI would provide technical service for them.
Besides, three new water aerodromes would be constructed in Kaziranga, Guwahati and Umrangso in Assam, he added.
A water aerodrome is an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off. (PTI)