GUWAHATI, Feb 21 � Several major airports of Assam including the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport are set for major facelift. The State Government has assured the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to hand over required land for the expansion of the LGBI airport within seven days.
An official release said that the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi today had a meeting with chairman of AAI VP Agarwal in his office where key issues relating to development of airports in the State were discussed. The AAI chief apprised the Chief Minister of the steps taken by the AAI for the construction of a new integrated terminal building and taxi track in the LGBI to cope with the heavy inflow of passengers. He requested the Chief Minister to hand over the land required at the earliest for modernization and expansion of the airport. The revenue officials present in the meeting said that the required land would be handed over to the AAI within the next seven days.
Agarwal informed the Chief Minister that an amount of Rs 500 crore would be required for parallel runway, Rs 150 crore for traffic taxi and Rs 100 crore as cost of land. The AAI chairman requested the Chief Minister to move the North eastern Council (NEC) for financial support and he assured to do it. Gogoi also asked Agarwal to explore other possibilities for meeting the fund requirement.
As Assam serves as the regional hub, the AAI has been asked to ensure share of funds for land acquisition cost by the other State Governments, DoNER and the NEC. Agarwal also informed the Chief Minister that night landing facilities in the LGBI airport would come up soon.
The meeting discussed the proposed expansion of the Rowriah
airport in Jorhat and Gogoi said that the expansion plan should be taken up at the earliest as Jorhat has tremendous scope for growth of aviation sector.
Expansion of Lilabari airport was also discussed in the meeting and Agarwal said that talks are on with the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and NEC. The Chief Minister also requested the AAI chief to allot a hanger for the Assam Flying Club at the Lilabari airport.
On Mohanbari airport in Dibrugarh, the AAI chief informed that night landing facility would be made available in the airport soon. He said that the first phase of the expansion plan of the airport would be completed in 18 months and 32.5 acres of land would be required for the purpose.
The issue of revival of Rupshi airport was also discussed in the meeting and Agarwal said that the Air Force has also shown keen interest on the revival of the airport. Rupshi airport can also serve the need for Kokrajhar as it is not feasible to construct one in Kokrajhar from the security point of view because of thick forest cover, the AAI chief said.