Thursday, November 16, 2017

Big ramp-up in air links to North East, J&K

New Delhi: With an aim to boost air connectivity to North-East and Jammu and Kashmir, the central government is taking an important measure. It has already identified 24 airports and helipads in northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir, according to Indian Express report. This is part of the second phase of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the Centre. Out of the 24 airports and helipads, nine are in Arunachal Pradesh, five each in Assam and Manipur, two in Jammu and Kashmir and one each in Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim. Ministry of Civil Aviation has detected these airports and helipads. Nine airports and helipads in Arunachal Pradesh are startegically important as the state borders China.
It has been learnt that window for air operators to bid had started on August 24. This was four days before Indian and Chinese troops disengaged at Doklam to end a border standoff that lasted more than two months. When the list of routes in the first phase of the scheme was announced in March, only six airports in the North-East — Shillong, Dimapur, Imphal, Silchar, Aizawl and Agartala — were connected. Notably, the first round did not involve routes to Jammu and Kashmir.
Several airports identified under the RCS are currently being used by the Indian Air Force. These include Daporijo, Yinghong, Ziro, Pasighat, Along, Tuting and Walong in Arunachal Pradesh, and Kishtwar and Kargil in Jammu & Kashmir. The aerodromes at Tezpur, Jorhat and Lilabari in Assam are also operated by the IAF, but will have separate civilian enclaves under the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
16/11/17 Financial Express

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