Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday, April 8 said the northeast is a “high-priority region” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he went on to list the various initiatives taken up by the government for its development.
“In the last two-three years, we’ve developed a new airport terminal at Agartala, a new terminal is coming up at Holongi, a runway at Tezu is being upgraded. Eighteen more airstrips/heliports are being developed in the region,” Scindia was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Union minister also said that a plan worth nearly INR 2,000 crore is in the works to develop the airport infrastructure in the region. “UDAAN has been a successful scheme for the region. We have given priority to Krishi Udaan here,” he added.
“On April 12, two Dornier aircraft will be taken into operation by Alliance Air – they will operate from Dibrugarh to Pasighat, Tezu and Ziro in phase 1. In phase 2, Mechka, Vijoynagar and Tutling will be covered,” he further said.
Last month, Scindia said the government has set a target of creating 220 new airports by 2025. He announced in the Lok Sabha while responding to demands for grants from the civil aviation ministry for 2022-23.
Stating that steps will be taken to simplify the process of granting pilot licences using advanced technologies, the minister added that the government intends to create 33 new domestic cargo terminals, set up 15 new flight training schools for pilots, and create more jobs, and increase focus on the drone sector. “With this, the government has set a target of creating 220 new airports by 2025,” he said.
Scindia also hailed the high proportion of women pilots in the country: “In all other countries, only five per cent of the pilots are women. In India, over 15% of pilots are women. This is another example of women’s empowerment. There have been a lot of changes in the aviation industry in the last 20-25 years.”