The state government, for a long time, has been demanding the declaration of Agartala airport as an international airport for connectivity to Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh as the trade between Bangladesh and the North -East region, especially Tripura has increased manifold.
    
Agartala airport is the second busiest in the North-East after Guwahati and 22 flights operate from it every day carrying 2,700 passengers.
    
An Airport Authority of India (AAI) team led by Sudhir Raheja, member AAI board (Planning), conveyed this to Tripura Chief Minister during a meeting on Monday, Dey said adding Manik Sarkar assured him all cooperation.
    
He said that a survey found that 16 percent passengers of the region fly via Agartala airport and by 2021, the number would cross 10 lakh per year.
    
The runway at Agartala airport would be made longer and upgraded. Aprons and aerobridges, elevators and escalators would be constructed to make walkways to connect international arrival and departure levels as part of the modernization.
    
Altogether 72 acres were acquired for construction of the new terminal building, he said.
    
The process for resettling 157 families whose land was being taken away has already started and there were no problems regarding land, Dey added.
    
Official sources said that Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh during his recent meeting with Manik Sarkar said that his ministry is considering the state’s demand.
    
With Guwahati airport and Tulihal airport in Imphal declared as international airports earlier, Agartala airport is likely to be declared as one after its modernization, the sources said.
    
The AAI team also made an aerial survey of two dump airports at Kailashahar in Unakoti district and Kamalpur in Dhalai district. The state government is pressing for re-opening of these airports and an additional Rs 100 crore would be required to develop them.

(Agencies)

Latest News from State News Desk