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Government to develop around 400 abandoned airstrips across country

The Union Government has decided to renovate and develop around 400 abandoned airstrips across the country to strengthen air-connectivity. The first such airport at an initial investment of 100 crore rupees will be developed at Dhalbhumgarh and the first phase of the airport would be completed in 18 months.

Jan 25, 2019 10:17 IST
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The Union Government has decided to renovate and develop around 400 abandoned airstrips across the country to strengthen air-connectivity.

The information was shared by Secretary of Union Civil Aviation department R N Choubey in Jamshedpur on January 25, 2019. He was addressing a gathering after Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das performed the groundbreaking ceremony for a proposed airport in Dhalbhumgarh, under Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district.

Objective

The Union Government aims to renovate and develop the abandoned airstrips as modern airports along with the respective state governments to improve air connectivity across the country.

Key Highlights

The Airports Authority of India has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard and sent it to all the 29 states and seven Union Territories expressing its willingness to develop the unused airstrips along with the respective state governments.

The first such MoU was signed with Jharkhand government to develop the abandoned airstrip at Dhalbhumgarh.

A modern airport at an initial investment of 100 crore rupees will be developed at Dhalbhumgarh and the first phase of the airport would be completed in 18 months.

The airport will benefit adjoining states like West Bengal and Odisha and help push up economic growth as well as generate employment opportunity.

The Dhalbhumgarh airstrip had been developed by Britishers during the World War II in Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district.

Besides this, the Aviation Ministry is planning to set up an airport at Jamshedpur, which is considered to be the industrial capital of Jharkhand.

According to estimates, there are 400 such airstrips lying abandoned across the country.

Background

The agreement for the proposed airport at Dhalbhumgarh was signed by P R Berulia, Director of Ranchi Airport, on behalf of the AAI and Capt S P Sinha, Director of transport and civil aviation, on behalf of the Jharkhand Government.

Prior to December 2014, only 1,500 passengers used to travel by air per day in Jharkhand with only eight-passenger aircraft in operation.

However, post that the figure has jumped to 60,000 passengers travelling by air per day.

In 2018, around 25.50 lakh passengers travelled by air, which is indicative of increased purchase capacity of the people.

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