Agartala airport to be air hub for North East

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken a plan to make the airport here an air hub to expand connectivity between India's North East and neighbouring countries, Manik Dey, Minister of Transport, Govt of Tripura said in Agartala yesterday. "The AAI has sought 300 acres of land to build a new terminal building, expand the runway and construct additional infrastructure at the Agartala airport to make it an air hub," Dey said quoting an AAI communique. "The air hub scheme was planned to improve connectivity among the North Eastern states, the rest of India and adjacent countries." The AAI has begun preliminary work to upgrade it to an international airport to boost connectivity with South-east Asian countries.

Speaking in the Agartala Assembly, he said, "The AAI has sought 300 acres of land from the state government free of cost. The state government has told the Ministry of Civil Aviation, AAI and others to acquire the land-making necessary payments."

"AAI has taken up an ambitious Rs 80 crore project to gradually develop Agartala airport to international standards. Also, a modern Air Traffic Control tower is being set up at a cost of Rs.10 crore," an AAI official said, as per an IANS report.

The Minister, in his statement, said that on an average, 176 aircraft operate every week through the Agartala airport, connecting Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Imphal and Silchar, among other places.