Agartala, December 18: In next three years, North East set to get air connectivity worth Rs 2,500 Crore, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will invest Rs 2,500 crore in the next three years to develop regional air connectivity in the Northeast, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said.
Mohapatra, after meeting Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan at the state secretariat in the afternoon, said services would resume at Kailashahar airport of Tripura. Besides, Agartala airport, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and Shillong airport will be modernised under the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the ministry of civil aviation, he added.
The scheme essentially seeks to connect the small cities of the region to the metros. The official held regional review meetings with airport officials of Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal and Silchar. He laid the foundation stone for an aircraft hangar at Agartala airport.
In the second round of Udaan, an initiative to boost regional air connectivity, bidders have selected Kailashahar airport of Tripura, 140km from Tripura, for functioning of commercial flights. The airport was shut down in the mid- 1990s owing to shortage of space. TruJet, a private airlines operator, was chosen for Kailashahar airport.
"As soon as TruJet wants to start operations, we will make the airport ready," Mohapatra said.
He added that Agartala airport held good potential to be developed into an international facility. A new terminal building is being constructed at an estimated expenditure of Rs 500 crore here for the purpose.
"Tripura and the rest of the Northeast significantly picked up demand among passengers. Agartala airport now caters service to 13 lakh passengers annually," the AAI chairman said, adding that the figures were much higher than those of three years ago. Projects in the pipeline include a new terminal building in Guwahati, extension of runway at Shillong airport, new airports at Tezu and Holongi in Arunachal, among others.