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Major aviation boost for Northeast! 6 airports may get air connectivity with ASEAN nations in the coming years

Devanjana Nag

Northeast eyes major aviation boost! Soon, flying from the Northeast part of the country will be seamless. If everything works out, at least six airports across India’s Northeast region may get connected with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries in the coming years. While speaking at the second ASEAN-India Youth Summit, which was organized in Guwahati, Assam recently, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced that since Northeast India and ASEAN region have less aerial distance, air service could be started from at least six airports in Northeast with ASEAN countries, according to a PTI report. The ASEAN countries include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei and Laos.

While speaking on air connectivity, the chief minister stated that all the seven Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) were developed during the 1960s and have been rebuilt as well as operationalized. He further said that once the airport in the state capital, Itanagar comes up, the ALGs along with one civilian airport at Tezu town will be put to use to start air connectivity services within the state of Arunachal Pradesh using fixed wing aircraft.

According to Khandu, the state of Arunachal Pradesh is making tremendous progress in improving air, rail, road and digital connectivity. Earlier the state used to have the lowest density of road in India but now under the leadership of Modi government, roads are reaching remote corners of the state through various central schemes, he said.

Recently, PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Hollongi airport near Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar. Last year, in the month of September, the state of Sikkim was finally added to the country s aviation map. The Pakyong airport, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is situated at a distance of around 30 kilometres from the state’s capital Gangtok. The state’s first airport has been built at a cost of Rs 350 crore.