The civil aviation ministry has taken a host of initiatives to build infrastructure for expanding air connectivity in the north eastern region and has earmarked Rs 3500 crore for the purpose, a top Airport Authority of India official said on Thursday.
There is passenger pressure in the north east as air connectivity is a dependable means of transport in the region, Executive director of AAI, North-East, 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 to construct a new terminal building at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Guwahati. It is likely to be completed by 2020. Another Rs 500 crore would be spent to build up new international terminal at the Maharaja Bir Bikram airport here. Out of the total fund Rs 484 crore would be spent for the new terminal building, he said.
The airport at 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. AAI will also install cargo facilities in the airport, Jindal said adding there is a strong need for it and cold storage in Agartala. A new airport would be built up at Holangi in Arunachal Pradesh and a greenfield airport would be set up at Silchar in Assam in the next three years. Jindal said Air Asia will introduce air service linking Delhi to Agartala in October, he said.
The Airport Authority is also planning to start the operations at Tura in Meghalaya," he said. Referring to other projects of the AAI in the North East, he said 20 helipads would be set up in Arunachal Pradesh by the civil aviation ministry and national helicopter carrier Pawan Hans. AAI would provide technical service for them. Besides three new water aerodromes would be constructed in Kaziranga, Guwahati and at 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.