Despite becoming a state 29 years ago, an airport for Arunachal Pradesh’s capital has remained a distant dream for residents of Itanagar.
However, all this is about to change!
Union Minister, Mr Jayant Sinha has announced that the foundation stone for the proposed greenfield airport at Hollongi, will be laid in December 2018 and its construction will start thereafter.
About Rs 1,200 crore will be spent on developing the airport, which will have a better layout and a larger runway, compared to most airports in India.
According to Mr. Sinha, the 2,200-metre runway at the greenfield airport will handle jet aircraft that can provide direct flights to metro cities. He also went on to say that international flight operations may also start when the airport is complete.
The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region will spend about Rs 350 crore for the initial phase of work in the Hollongi airport.
Arunachal Pradesh already has airports at Tezu and Pasighat. The first commercial flight to Arunachal Pradesh landed at Pasighat airport in East Siang district with 25 passengers on May 22 this year.
The plan to build an airport for Itanagar was conceived as early as 2007 but the differences between the Airports Authority of India and the state government resulted in the project getting delayed.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) eventually stepped in to put an end to the dispute in July 2012 and the Hollongi site was finalised.
The government plans to connect the entire state with helicopter, seaplanes and passenger drone services by connecting small and big towns in the next 10 years.