Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Meghalaya HC directs DGCA, AAI to file reports on plans to have more facilities at Umroi Airport

The Meghalaya High Court has recently directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to file independent reports as to the development or expansion plans of facilities at the Umroi Airport that may be undertaken within the next two or three years.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh heard a PIL on the development and possible expansion of facilities at the Umroi Airport which is an hour’s drive from Shillong, off the Guwahati-Shillong Highway.

It is submitted on behalf of the AAI that the instrument landing system has been installed to enable flights to operate in instrument flight rules conditions when visibility is poor. It is also agreed all round that connectivity to Shillong, serviced by the Umroi Airport, has improved and there are now regular flights to Dimapur, Dibrugarh, Imphal and Kolkata.

However, the respondent authorities submit that the cost-benefit analysis and feasibility studies conducted do not reveal any significant increase in footfall if the Umroi Airport is expanded. In any event, the cost of expansion may also not be justified.

The State submitted that a new Greenfield project to set up an airport was also under consideration, but the feasibility study undertaken shows that the requisite expansion may not be warranted on the basis of the projected estimates of use and footfall.

07/12/21 India Legal

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