Guwahati: The much-awaited direct air connectivity to one of the eastern most location of the country, Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh started on Thursday with the maiden flight of Fly-big airlines from Guwahati that landed on August 19.
Under the ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN - ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’ of the government, the first flight from Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati took off for Tezu Airport, an airport developed, managed and operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in Arunachal Pradesh.
The flagging off function was attended by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu through video-link, Aviation and Tourism Minister, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh Nakap Nalo, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) Tapir, AAI's Regional Executive Director (RED) Ravi Kant and other dignitaries at Tezu Airport.
Addressing the function Kant extended his sincere thanks to the state government for the continuous support even during the odd hours and to the airline for starting the flight services under the RCS-UDAN programme where seats are available at affordable rates for the shorter distance. Kant mentioned that AAI has always been pivotal in connecting remote and small places through air transportation in the country and said that the connectivity to this location will boost tourism and trade in the North East region.
This is one of the most beautiful places in India and regular flights connecting Guwahati and then to Kolkata will attract tourists from other parts of the country. Some historical and religious places are also the centre of interest for many people which will definitely appeal to travellers to come to Tezu, he added.
The ATR-72 type aircraft by FlyBig airline was greeted with the traditional water cannon salute by the Tezu Airport fire team. This flight will operate on Guwahati- Tezu- Guwahati route every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
This is another success story of the RCS–UDAN route in North East India after the airline won bids to operate flights on several routes in the region including Shillong, Silchar, Imphal, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Rupsi and Guwahati. It is aimed to boost connectivity in the region.
Tezu Airport is being redeveloped by the AAI which includes the construction of the terminal building and associated work. The terminal building will be spread across 4,200 sq.m, the apron and runway extension is also in the plan with the terminal building and new Air Traffic Control Tower, all at an estimated cost of Rs 140 crore.
During the peak hour, about 200 passengers can be handled in the new building. Parking of ATR-72 type aircraft is also provisioned in the project. Extension work is in progress at Tezu Airport which is scheduled to be completed by next year in different phases.
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