Arunachal: Greenfield airport to be named 'Donyi Polo Airport'
Pema Khandu attending a cabinet meeting

Itanagar: Putting an end to a two-month-long social media debate, the Arunachal Pradesh government has approved the naming of the under-construction greenfield airport at Hollongi as “Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar”.

The decision to name the airport as “Donyi Polo” was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by CM Pema Khandu on Thursday.

“This name of the lone airport in the Capital city will symbolize the age-old tradition and rich cultural heritage of the tribal state. It will also reflect the people’s age-old indigenous reverence for the Sun (Donyi) and the Moon (Polo),” a statement from the CM’s office said.

It may be mentioned here that CM Khandu had in May written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia proposing that the Greenfield Airport be named “Donyi Polo” airport.

The name suggested by the Chief Minister had sparked a social media debate with several supporting it and many suggesting other names.

Located at Hollongi, around 15 km from here, the foundation stone for construction of the greenfield airport was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his third visit to the state as Prime Minister in February 2019.

The Government of India had accorded approval for setting up of the airport under the Capital Connectivity Scheme to build up fixed wing air connectivity facility to the state capital which was a long cherished dream of Arunachalees.

Though the work on the airport had substantially slowed down due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state, the ambitious project is now nearing completion and is scheduled to be operational by August 15.

Spread over an area of 320 hectares, the airport once completed, would be able to accommodate narrow-body jets like the Airbus A321 in the first phase and the Boeing 747, one of the largest passenger aircraft later.

The first flight test landing in the airstrip was conducted by the Airports Authority of India on July 19 when a Dornier aircraft, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited landed at the airport.

The terminal of the energy-efficient airport will also be equipped with all modern amenities and will be able to accommodate 200 passengers during peak hours.

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