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East and North-East focus for consultative committee meet

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Sep 11(UNI) With a focus on development of aviation infrastructure in eastern and north-eastern states, the Parliamentary Consultative Committee discussed various projects, including three green field airports, at its meeting here today.

Observing that air connectivity in the North-East was inadequate, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told the meeting that emphasis should be given on improving links with one another.

The members were informed that AAI had prepared detailed techno-feasibility study for construction of a Greenfield airport in Sikkim at an estimated cost of Rs 340 crore while the sites for construction of Greenfield airports near Kohima and Itanagar had been identified. The techno-feasibility report for the Sikkim project had already been forwarded to the Sikkim Government and the Planning Commission.

The Sikkim Government had requested AAI to take up the project and assured to provide Rs 100 crore besides the required land.

The members were also informed that AAI had appointed a consultant for preparation of Detailed Project Report for the proposed airport near Kohima while it was in the process of appointing another for the airport near Itanagar.

During the tenth Five Year Plan AAI would spend about Rs 125 crores on modernization, upgradation and improvement of facilities in the North-East region while a capital investment of Rs 315.45, including Rs 224.40 crore for the Kolkata Airport would be made for the Eastern region.

The members were told that aircraft movement in the North-Eastern region had gone up to 34,036 registering a 3.11 per cent increase in 2005-06 over the previous year. Passenger and cargo traffic in the region had also recorded respectively 11.9 per cent and 6.8 growth.

In the Eastern region Aircraft Movement in 2005-06 had registered a 14.7 per cent growth while passenger and cargo traffic grew by 23.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.

The Director General of Civil Aviation informed the gathering that in the Winter Schedule of 2006 there was an increase of 49 frequencies of flights in the North Eastern region, including 20 by Alliance Air, seven each by Jet and Sahara Airways, ten by Air Deccan, one by Kingfisher Airlines and four by Spice Jet.

He also informed that the Government had granted initial NoC in August 2006 to Sky King Aviation to operate scheduled air services exclusively within the North-East region.

The airlines has initial plans to operate air services to/from Agartala, Aizwal, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Leelabari, Silchar, Dimapur, Imphal, Shillong and Tura. A proposal was also under consideration for non scheduled operations by Surya Air with short haul feeder air services in the North-East region. The airline has plans to provide air connectivity to Agartala, Aizwal, Bagdogra, Dimapur, Imphal, Leelabari and Silchar.

UNI KDG KK DB1840

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