GUWAHATI, July 27 � The College of Aeronautical Engineering has proposed a Northeast Aviation Council to the DoNER Minister Gen (Retd) Dr VK Singh. Representatives of the college demanded a major overhaul in the aviation sector in the North-east arguing that lack of connectivity must not hamper the growth of the region.
The project worth Rs 300 crore is supposed to provide direct benefit to tourism, health, disaster management, trade and commerce and government administration, among others.
Addressing the media here recently, Bikram Singha Lahkar, chief patron of the college said that improved aviation facilities in the region in the form of air medical support service, charter aircraft, one Northeast Regional Airlines service, connecting the capitals of eight States and other facilities proposed in the project would be the major employment generator in the region directly helping 10,000 youth.
Despite spending a huge amount of money as subsidy to Air India and many private airlines, the Northeast aviation industry is in a pitiable condition. Whereas many of the airfields including Pasighat, Rupsi, Teju, Zero and Kamalpur are still not operational, only 11 out of total 22 airports are considered as fully operational.
The proposed scheme worth Rs 300 crores includes one regional airlines service, NE medical support service and industrial support service. The initial infrastructure requirement include one single engine helicopter, one multi-engine helicopter, three light aircraft, three heavy aircraft, upgrading maintenance and operational base at Assam Flying Club, development of airstrips constructed during 2nd World War. The scheme has proposed cent per cent direct funding from DoNER Ministry.