GUWAHATI, Jan 29 - The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport will operate 24x7 from this summer, Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra said here today.
Now, the airport operates only till around 10 pm, and there are practically no early morning flights from here.
Mohapatra said IndiGo has sought three bays, while SpiceJet and AirAsia have also evinced interest in operating late-night flights. There are 21 bays at the airport.
�We hope there will be a lot of late night/midnight flight movement from summer. If a flight lands here late, it will naturally move out early in the morning,� he added.
Interacting with journalists here, the AAI chairman said an investment of Rs 2,350 crore has been planned for airports in the Northeast which will cover the upgradation and expansion of existing airports, revival of non-operational airports, and upgradation of air navigation services and telecommunication infrastructure.
Besides the new integrated terminal at LGBI airport, a Rs 44-crore project for strengthening of the existing runway has already been awarded to a contractor. A new ATC-cum-technical block is also being built at a cost of Rs 168 crore.
Mohapatra, who inaugurated a new cargo building at the airport today, said the AAI expects significant increase in cargo movement from the airport. As on date, it handles around three tonnes of cargo daily. The AAI is also planning a parallel taxi track at the airport, besides wi fi facilities.
The other airports being upgraded in the State are Dibrugarh (new hanger, runway extension and new control tower, solar power plant), Silchar (new terminal building, recarpeting of runway and modification of existing terminal building), Jorhat (modification of terminal building and construction of new terminal building), Lilabari (aviation manpower training institute and recarpeting of runway) and Rupsi which will be handed over to the Indian Air Force on lease.
Under the UDAN scheme, low frills airports are being developed in the country, including the Northeast. Some of these airports to be built under the Regional Connectivity Scheme will have mobile ATC towers as fewer flights will operate from them.
�We are initially putting in small infrastructure in these small airports. The UDAN scheme intends to boost the demand and once the demand stabilises, we will go for bigger terminals at a later stage,� he said.
Under UDAN-I, Shillong would be connected to Silchar, Imphal, Dimapur, Aizawl and Agartala. Under UDAN-II, Pasighat and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh, Jorhat, Lilabari, Tezpur and Rupsi in Assam are being developed for intra-regional connectivity for fixed wing operations.