Aviation ministry to introduce Northeast based Regional Airlines

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Shillong, Oct 12 (UNI) In a bid to improve air connectivity, the Civil Aviation Ministry is considering the introduction of a dedicated Northeast based Regional Airlines for the North Eastern states.

The airline is expected to take off by 2008, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said.

The proposal also includes procuring small aircraft to connect all the Northeast states, he told reporters here today.

The selected airline will be based in the Northeast to improve intra-region air connectivity within the region and to be the pathfinder for future locations.

Besides, the ministry plans to construct new airfields at Gangtok in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and at Kohima in Nagaland.

''The proposal for new airfields in Gangtok and Arunachal Pradesh has been cleared, we should get clearance for the new airfield at Kohima next year'', he said.

On Umroi and Baljek airport, Mr Patel said there is a need to improve the the infrastructure at Umroi airport in Shillong which also include the run-way expansion of the 7,500 feet.

At present, he said the Umroi airport can accommodate only 50-seater aircrafts. The expansion of the run-way will also help to land larger planes.

He also said the works related to Baljek airport in the West Garo Hills will be completed by December 31.

Mr Patel said the ministry has decided to name Umroi airport after late Chief Minister BB Lyngdoh, while the Baljek airport will be known as Capt Williamson A Sangma airport named after the first Chief Minister of Meghalaya.

UNI

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