Agartala [India], Aug. 31 : Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha has said that the Centre is keen to renovate several unused airports, built during the World War II, across the north-eastern states to improve the regional connectivity.
Sinha, who was here on a one-day visit, had a long discussion with Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar yesterday to work towards improving the Agartala airport into an international airport with an investment of Rs.
400 crores. "There are large numbers of airports in the northeast which were built during the World War II that are not being used.
So, now what we plan to do with these 50 airports is to go rehabilitates many of these airports that are in a state of disrepair right now and build them up so that they can be used for regional connectivity," Sinha told a press conference.
Stating that the people of this region take a long time to go from one place to another through the hilly terrain, he added, "It will be a great-great service because they will be able to go from one point to another point very conveniently in 40 minutes to one hour time." Sinha, however, informed that the government is at present emphasizing on reconditioning the unused airports in the region and not working towards constructing of innovative highway-cum-runway in the northeastern region, where the national highways may also be used as airstrips as and when required, and as proposed by the Ministry of Highways.
One such airport, which will be renovated under this project, is the Kailasahar airport in North Tripura, he informed.
Emphasizing that the government is also trying to improve air connectivity among the north-eastern states and adjacent countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand, Sinha said the ruling dispensation is, therefore, investing for improving the infrastructure of the airports in the north-eastern states like Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram.
"With the improving airports we are also working towards connecting international flights from Dhaka, Bangkok after the completion of the international terminal," he added.
The Minister of State for Civil Aviation informed some private airlines shall introduce more flights in the north-east besides starting air ambulance and low cost airliners for the region by coming October.
The Tripura Government has been demanding for flights between Bangladesh capital Dhaka and other important cities like Chittagong and Sylhet from the Agartala airport.