In a meeting with Gaurav Rathore Chief Commercial Officer of FlyBig Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured the airline company that government would approach the Centre to start fixed-winged flights to all the ‘Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG)s’ in the State.
Current ALGs in Arunachal are Passighat, Mechuka, Walong, Tuting, Ziro, Along and Vijaynagar.
In the meeting with Rathore and Manima Baruah, the Regional Head (NE) of Flybig airlines, Khandu spoke about his vision to make the geographically the largest state in the Northeast one of the most well connected in the region.
Under the Government of India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN, FlyBig started its operation in the state on May 24 last with its first flight between Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh) and Guwahati (Assam).
Rathore informed that soon the airlines will begin its operations from Tezu too.
Rathore further informed the Chief Minister that FlyBig, which is operating ATR 72 aircraft with a seating capacity of 72 persons at the moment, has got the approval to commence flights between Guwahati-Pasighat, Pasighat-Shillong, Guwahati-Tezu, and Tezu-Imphal.
Congratulating FlyBig, Khandu suggested extension of the services to all the existing Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in the state to boost inter-state and intra-state air connectivity.
CM Khandu said that fixed wing air connectivity would also boost the tourism sector in the state.
Fixed wing air travel to boost tourism in Arunachal.
Sat down today with officials from @flybigairlines to discuss on connecting remote tourist destinations with fixed wing air service.
Pasighat & Tezu is two such destinations currently approved with more to be added in future. pic.twitter.com/19w0vq3lrm
— Pema Khandu པདྨ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་། (@PemaKhanduBJP) June 22, 2021
Observing that Dornier 228 aircraft with 15-16 seating capacity would better suit the purpose, Khandu said he would pursue with the Civil Aviation ministry (GoI) to this end.
He said once the greenfield airport at Hollongi is made functional next year, it can also be used by FlyBig as its operating base and commence flights to all the ALGs.
He directed the state civil aviation secretary to get in touch with the central ministry and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), manufacturers of the Dornier aircraft, to work out a vision plan to achieve this.
Khandu also suggested that besides passenger services, the option to operate cargo flights may also be included in the plan.
The FlyBig representatives assured all its cooperation both technically and physically in realizing the Chief Minister’s suggestions.