Northeast to get a major boost to air connectivity in coming days. As per plan 92 new routes will be opened in the region in the second round of the government’s ‘Udaan’ scheme, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Tuesday during the inaugural ceremony of the two-day Northeast Development Summit in Manipur capital Imphal. The second round of bidding for Udaan scheme is in its final stages, he said.
Sinha also announced the construction of a host of airports and heliports in areas along the international border, and the revival of some British-era roads and airports are part of the Centre’s scheme to make the Northeast the hub of the country’s trade with South East Asian countries. Sinha also informed that the construction of the Pakyong airport in Sikkim is complete and it will make reaching the northern part of the state, especially tourist attractions such as Nathu La Pass, easier.
Udaan is a regional connectivity scheme under which the government plans to provide connectivity to remote areas and enhance access in under-served regions. The scheme has enabled the government to add 30 new airports on the aviation map in tier-2 and tier-3 cities under the first round.
The second round of bidding commenced in August. The civil aviation ministry has received as many as 141 initial proposals for operating flight and helicopter services on 502 routes, connecting 126 airports and helipads.
He said that there are 19 “new airports or underserved airports”, and among these airports such as More in Manipur, Rupsi in Assam, and Tura in Meghalaya are going to get air services.
“Nineteen new airports and seven heliports that are going to be added to the aviation network. There are 26 new airports (that are going to be) added through Udaan round 2. The bidding processes are underway,” he said.