HOLLONGI, 7 Jan: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that the greenfield airport here in Papum Pare district will be made operational by 15 August, 2022.
The actual date of completion of the airport is November 2022, but it has been brought forward to 15 August to mark the 75 years of independence. The work for the airport had started on 15 December, 2020.
Being constructed at the cost of Rs 645 crores, the Hollongi airport, once completed, will provide air connectivity to the state capital Itanagar. At present, Itanagar is the only state capital in India that does not have an airport. The work on the runway, the terminal building, the boundary wall, and other infrastructure is going on simultaneously.
“The total length of the runway is 2,300 metres and breadth 60 metres. Till now 1,600 metre work has been completed. The entire runway be will be completed by end of March,” said AAI DGM M Suresh.
The AAI is planning to start the operation of the airport with a prefabricated terminal building. “The prefab terminal building will be completed by April. The 4,000 square metres main terminal building will be completed by March 2023. The work on both has started. Once the main building is ready, we will use the prefabricated building as a cargo terminal,” said the DGM.
The work on the 12-km-long boundary wall is 80 percent complete. “The four-lane approach road from the highway is expected to be finished by March. The total length of the road is 4 kms. The 11 kv power station exclusively for the airport and water supply to the airport is also being taken up on a war footing,” he added.
Regarding air traffic control (ATC), he said that the main ATC tower is going to take some time to be completed.
“We will start operation with mobile ATC, which will be assembled here,” said Suresh.
However, there are issues like security, shifting of HT line and the threat of flooding from nearby rivers which still need to be addressed. “The 132 kv HT line on the eastern side of the airport needs to be shifted at the earliest. This is the approach side of the airport. We have already informed Powergrid. Without shifting it, the work will be affected,” the DGM added.
On the issue of security, he said that a final decision on who will manage the security of the airport will be taken later. “Already a meeting to discuss security issue was recently held. The security of the airport will be initially under the state government,” the DGM informed.
Further, he claimed that the threat of flooding has been taken care of. “Flood calculation for the next 25 years has been done. Proper research has been done and people need not worry,” said Suresh.
On being asked whether the deadline of 15 August will be met, he said, “As this is the dream project of the people of Arunachal Pradesh, everyone involved in the construction of the airport is committed to meeting the deadline.”
On completion, the airport will be able to handle 100 arrivals and 100 departures.