Jyotiraditya Scindia says Centre will invest Rs 2,000 crore to boost civil aviation infrastructure in the Northeast
PASIGHAT, Arunachal Pradesh, Apr 12 (The CONNECT) – Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu today flagged off the first flight of Made- in-India HAL Dornier Do-228 connecting airports and Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) of Northeast India.
The flight will be operational from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh and finally to Lilabari in Assam.
Alliance Air, a public sector airline company, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), to operate Indian made Dornier aircraft, which is called Hindustan aircraft. This initiative is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “AtmaNirbhar Bharat”. With this, Alliance Air becomes the first commercial airline to fly Indian made aircraft for civil operations.
The deployment of Indian made Do-228 will be done in a phased manner. In the first phase, 2 Hindustan aircrafts would be stationed at Dibrugarh, to connect
Scindia also inaugurated the first Flying Training Organization (FTO) for North Eastern Region in Lilabari, Assam. Lilabari is amongst nine FTOs to be established in five airports in India by June 2022 includes Belagavi and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Jalgaon in Maharashtra and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh. Redbird Aviation has won the right to establish the FTO at Lilabari. Airports Authority of India has leased land for the FTO and facilitated statutory approvals from DGCA and BCAS. With the establishment of these FTOs, India will aim to become a global hub for pilot training.
Currently, at Lilabari, Redbird Aviation has stationed 2 aircraft for flying training - Tecnam P2008JC Single Engine and Tecnam P2006T Multi-engine which would eventually be increased to 5 by year end.
Tezu, Pasighat and Ziro. In the second phase of the programme, connectivity to Mechuka, Tuting and Vijoy Nagar has been planned. In the coming 15 days, the airline will connect Tezu and after that, within 30 days, air connectivity to Ziro would commence.
Scindia said, “In the last 70 years, 74 airports were developed but in last 7 years under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, we have created 66 new airports taking the total to 140 airports operational in the country. In Northeast, 9 airports were operationalized but today 15 airports are established in the last 7 years.”
Talking about the civil aviation development plans for Northeast, the Minister said “In Arunachal Pradesh, within 6 months, a new greenfield airport in Hollongi will be inaugurated with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 645.63 Crore. At Tezu, Rs 67 crores has been allotted for the upgradation of airport and work is in progress. A dedicated budgetary support of Rs. 500 Crore has been approved by the Ministry for enhancing air connectivity and aviation infrastructure in NER till March, 2024. Out of these Rs. 500 Crore, about Rs. 227 Crore is earmarked for development of ALGs and air connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh, making it 50% of the total budget.”
He said, at Imphal, the airport would be getting a major up-gradation with a budgetary allocation of Rs. 499 Crore where a new Integrated Terminal Building and other associated work would be taken up. A new Integrated Terminal Building at Agartala airport with a budgetary support of Rs. 438.28 Crore has just been completed. Another Rs.120 Crore would be spent on development of runway, taxiway and apron at Agartala airport.
At Dibrugarh in Assam, re-carpeting of airport runway has started with Rs. 55.54 Crore allotted. With all these developments in the airport infrastructure, the air connectivity in NER is going to get a fillip. In addition to this, about 18 airstrips, heliports/ helipads, water aerodromes are also awarded under UDAN scheme and are being developed in NER with the budgetary allocation of about Rs. 182 Crore.
In total, the Centre will invest more than Rs 2,000 in North East to upgrade and create civil aviation infrastructure, Scindia said.
Talking about UDAN scheme, Minister stated “415 routes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme and over 91 lakh people have benefitted from it. Over 1 lakh 75 thousand flights are flown under this scheme.”
Development of North Eastern Region (NER) is not only of strategic importance, but, also is a part of India’s growth story. Connectivity in NER is very essential and in many places air transport is the lifeline for movement of people and the cargo. Under “UdeDeshKaAam Nagrik (UDAN)”, the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has identified NER as a priority area. This has helped in enhancing inter and intra connectivity for the NER.