Wednesday, May 16, 2007

N-E airports incurring losses; new airport at Pekyong approved

New Delhi, May 15: The Planning Commission has approved construction of a green-field airport at Pekyong in Sikkim in the North East.

Besides, proposals of new airports near Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) and at Chetitu(Nagaland) were under consideration, Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel told the Rajya Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the House, the Minister said there were at present 22 airports operational in the region, which gave adequate connectivity to north-eastern states.

Airports in the North East were running into losses, but the Airports Authority of India was committed to maintaining them in order to provide connectivity to the people of the region.

When asked about the state of Rupsi airport in Asom, he said the airport has been abandoned, but if the member was interested in its revival, he should take up the matter with the Planning Commission and the North East Development Council.

Answering another supplementary, he said development projects in the North East states were taken up at the request of and in consultation with the North Eastern Council, and at present there was no proposal for the establishment of a Pilot Training Institute at Rupsi airport.