IMPHAL, Sept 4 - A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed soon between Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and State Governments of Assam, Manipur and Tripura for better regional connectivity.
This was disclosed by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in a media interview soon after holding an official meeting with Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and Chief Secretary O Nabakishore here recently.
�We will also be taking up necessary (airport) expansion activities within two/three months so that international flights from South Asian countries could land here,� said Sinha, adding, �Upgradation of the airport is a genuine demand and our job is to facilitate it.�
When asked about increasing number of flights in the NE, the Union Minister said that it is the prerogative of the private operators.
Soon after his arrival here, the Union Minister accompanied by high officials of both Civil Aviation Ministry and Airports Authority of India (AAI) inspected the infrastructure at Imphal International airport.
Three year ago, the Union Government had given approval for declaring Imphal as International airport considering its strategic location and its proximity to South Asian countries. But neither the State nor the Centre has taken up any initiative to upgrade the infrastructure at Imphal terminus.
It is expected that with the country becoming more aggressive in its �Act East Policy� and Myanmar opening up, Manipur could become a key regional hub for international flights to South East Asian countries.
Imphal Airport, which belongs to AAI, is said to be suitable for �C� type (Airbus 320 or 321) aircraft operations in all-weather conditions. It has facilities for night operations, 2,746 metre-long runway, apron to park three A-320s and an ATR-72 at a time. Besides, AAI had also modified the terminal building, having an area of 6,592 sq m.