IN A bid to promote air connectivity with remote areas, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation will develop five small airports at tier II and tier III cities across the country.
Hubli and Belgaum in Karnataka, Kishangarh in Rajasthan, Jharsuguda in Odisha and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh were identified as locations for the airports. The estimated project cost is US$22.3 million for Hubli, US$22.3 million for Belgaum, US$25.2 million for Kishangarh, US$31.5 million for Jharsuguda and US$15.5 million for Tezu.
The above locations were identified based on the areas’ population, availability of land and potential for tourism and industry. Completion dates have yet to be announced.
According to Shobha Mani, managing director, North-East Shuttles, the Airport Authority of India has recently completed the construction of three hangars at Guwahati Airport to facilitate air connectivity in the north-east, and is now rolling out new policies to connect remote areas with smaller aircraft such as ATF and turboprops.
Himanshu Das, vice president, Travel Agents Association of Odisha, said: “The airport in Jharsuguda will only help the business tourists as the destination has lots of mining industries. The airport will not have major impact on the tourism business overall.
“For tourism to prosper in Odisha, we recommend establishing an airport in Koraput in South Odisha for promoting tribal and medical tourism services,” he added.