CM assures to help facilitate fixed-wing air connectivity to all ALGs in state

ITANAGAR, 22 Jun: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday assured FlyBig airline that the state government would approach the Centre to facilitate fixed-wing air connectivity to all the advanced landing grounds (ALG) of the state in order to boost tourism and generate employment.

Commending FlyBig chief commercial officer Gaurav Rathore and NE regional head Manima Baruah, who called on him at his office here, Khandu said that the state government is committed to improve air connectivity in the state, and offered cooperation and assistance to the airline operator.

Under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN, FlyBig started its operation in the state on 24 May, with its first flight between Pasighat (Arunachal) and Guwahati (Assam).

Rathore informed that the airline will soon begin operations from Tezu also.

“FlyBig endeavours to be the platform of development for the region in which it operates. The airline started flight services in January this year, and it aims to connect Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities within the country,” he said.

Rathore further informed the chief minister that FlyBig, which is

operating ATR 72 aircraft with a seating capacity for 72 persons at the moment, has got the approval to commence flights between Guwahati and Pasighat, Pasighat and Shillong, Guwahati and Tezu, and Tezu and Imphal.

The CM suggested extending the service to all the ALGs in the state to boost interstate and intra-state air connectivity.

Observing that the Dornier 228 aircraft, with a seating capacity for 15-16 passengers, would better suit the purpose, Khandu said he would pursue the union civil aviation ministry to this end.

“Once the greenfield airport in Hollongi is made functional next year, it can also be used by FlyBig as its operating base and commence flights to all the ALGs,” Khandu said.

He directed the state’s civil aviation secretary to get in touch with the central ministry and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, manufacturers of the Dornier aircraft, “to work out a vision plan to achieve this.”

Khandu also suggested that, besides passenger services, the option to operate cargo flights may also be included in the plan.

The FlyBig representatives assured of their cooperation, both technically and physically, in realizing the chief minister’s suggestions. (CM’s PR Cell)