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7 more airports to be developed in NE
SOBHAPATI SAMOM
 IMPHAL, June 23 - In a move to promote better air connectivity in the North East, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is planning to develop seven more airports including three green field airports and two water aerodromes in the region which currently has 12 operational airports, according to a senior AAI official.

Regional Executive Director, AAI, Sanjeev Jindal said, “The water aerodromes will be developed at Brahmaputra and green field airports at Rupsi in Assam and Hollongi in Arunachal Pradesh. We’re also exploring another around Silchar”, he added.

Jindal was speaking to this reporter on the sideline of a two-day conference cum international buyer-seller meet which concluded in Imphal four days back.

The Rupsi Airport, located about 15 km from Dhubri in Assam was said to be constructed by the British during World War II to supply arms, manpower and ammunition to the Allied Forces. Hollongi Airport located about 25 km from Itanagar, will boast of some state-of-art infrastructure. The remaining two airports will be developed in Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

“We’re also exploring for more air connectivity in the region,” he said. “The process for the Imphal-Mandalay flight service has been started and we’re waiting for bilateral agreement (between the two countries).”

The Guwahati-Dhaka-Guwahati daily flight under the Central Government scheme Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) International, will be launched from July 1 this year with a roundtrip airfare of just Rs 7,000, he informed.

The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Guwahati wherein 120 flights operate daily, will be expanded with more facilities, he said.

Similarly, Agartala, the third International airport in NE after Guwahati and Imphal, will also be upgraded with new buildings within three years. Imphal airport will also be developed with state of the art infrastructure.

The airport at Imphal will have its own system to harvest water for its daily use besides having its own waste management system.

The AAI currently operates 120 airports in India.

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