North-East awaits Rs.8,000 cr aviation booster

    In a bid to provide quicker air connectivity to the north eastern states, the Central government has initiated a process to build new airports and upgrade existing facilities including airstrips entailing a staggering investment of Rs.8,000 crore. The first phase of this has already started with the state-run AAI currently carrying out work under a Rs.2,500 crore project, said Chairman, AAI, Guruprasad Mohapatra, adding that the nodal agency is currently in the process of upgrading various airports in the Northeast, which is likely to reach completion by 2019-20. The AAI is also planning a second phase of airport upgrade program for the north-eastern region under the government's Act East policy to accelerate development in the Northeast, which acts as a gateway to Southeast Asia and has huge tourism potential. A new airport is set to come up at Holangi in Arunachal Pradesh in the first phase and that airports being upgraded include Teju, Shillong and Agartala. Advanced landing grounds being used by the Indian Air Force will be upgraded and used also for civilian activities under the project. The government is working to improve connectivity in the region through the regional connectivity scheme, Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), he added.
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