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Agartala: The Union ministry of civil aviation would spend Rs 3,500 crore to expand air connectivity services across the Northeastern region, Airports Authority of India (AAI), NE region (NER) executive director Sanjeev Jindal said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference at the AAI office in Agartala, Jindal said the AAI is going to spend almost Rs 3,500 crore in the coming three years in the aviation sector in the Northeastern region.

“To enhance the aviation services across the NE, the AAI is working hard. Almost Rs 3,500 crore would be spent in the coming three years in the aviation sector of Northeast. Different airlines are also showing their interest to start their services across the NE and from Agartala as well. Even many international airlines are also extended their hand for the services in the Northeastern region,” he added.

The AAI has allocated Rs 1,250 crore for Guwahati airport, Rs 650 crore for Imphal (Manipur), Rs 500 crore for Agartala (Tripura), Rs 650 crore for a greenfield airport at Hollongi in Arunachal Pradesh, and Rs 450 crore for the Lengpui airport in Mizoram, besides other airports in the region.

He said that all modern facilities would be installed at these airports as several international airlines have shown interest in operating flights from the region.

From the tourism point of view, there is huge scope of developing air connectivity between the Northeastern region and other countries, including China, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

According to the official, there are 10-12 airports in the Northeastern states which were used many years ago. Now, these airports or airstrips can be upgraded to operate smaller aircraft.

He said that under the Rs 500 crore project in Agartala airport, which was renamed last year as Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, full-body scanners would be installed here for the first time in India.

“Besides, cold storage, huge cargo storage, hangars, escalators, lifts, isolation bay, several aerobridges, childcare room, prayer room, bio-matrix devices would be commissioned in the MBB airport,” Jindal said, accompanied by director, Agartala Airport, Vipin Kant Seth.

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