HAL, Alliance Air sign MoU for Dornier flight services in Arunachal

NAMSAI, 26 Sep: In the virtual presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an agreement with Alliance Air to lease out two ‘made in India’ 16-seater Dornier DO-228 aircraft for operation in Arunachal Pradesh under the central government’s UDAAN scheme.

“It is a big leap in connectivity for Arunachal Pradesh,” Khandu said, and expressed gratitude to the union civil aviation ministry, the HAL and Alliance Air.

He expressed hope that all feasible advanced landing grounds (ALG) in Arunachal would be connected with fixed-wing passenger services in the days to come.

As per official sources, the DO-228 services will be introduced in three phases: Pasighat and Tezu will be connected in the first phase, while Mechuka, Tuting, Vijaynagar and Ziro will be connected in the second phase. Two more ALGs that are coming up in Dirang and Daporijo will be connected in the third phase.

Khandu informed that the civil passenger terminal buildings (PTB) at Ziro and Tuting are under construction and will be completed by the end of this year. “The PTB at Mechuka is also under construction, while Pasighat and Tezu already have the mandatory infrastructure,” he said.

He suggested that, till the completion of the Hollongi airport, which can be later used as an operational base for DO-228 aircraft, flight services connecting Tezu, Pasighat, Ziro, Tuting, Mechuka and Vijaynagar may be extended to the Lilabari (Assam) airport, “so that passengers from these remote places coming to the state capital can avail these flights.”

Further, till the completion of the Hollongi airport, the operational base of the Dornier aircraft may be made at Guwahati or Dibrugarh, he suggested.

Khandu gave assurance that, as required, a core group will be constituted to finalize the operational plan for the two DO-228 aircraft within the next two months.

Present at the MoU signing ceremony were MoCA Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, Joint Secretary Usha Padhee, DoNER Secretary Lok Ranjan, HAL Chairman R Madhavan and Alliance Air CEO Vinod Sood, while the chief minister was accompanied by DCM Chowna Mein, Home Minister Bamang Felix, MP Tapir Gao, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials. (CM’s PR Cell)