– NET Web Desk
Air connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh achieved another milestone today with paths cleared for the introduction of fixed-wing flight services to remote towns like Mechuka, Tuting, Ziro, and Vijaynagar.
In the virtual presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an agreement with Alliance Air to lease out two ‘made in India’ Dornier DO-228, a 16 seater aircraft, for operation in Arunachal Pradesh under the central government’s UDAAN scheme.
“It is a big leap in connectivity for Arunachal Pradesh,” Khandu observed while expressing gratitude to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, HAL, and Alliance Air.
He expressed hope that all feasible Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Arunachal will be connected with fixed-wing passenger services in the days to come.
As per official sources, the DO-228 services will be introduced in 3 phases. Pasighat and Tezu in the first phase while Mechuka, Tuting, Vijaynagar and Ziro will be connected in the second phase. Two more ALGs, which are under survey, at Dirang and Daporijo will be connected in the third phase.
Khandu informed that the civil passenger terminal building (PTB) at Ziro and Tuting is under construction and will be completed by this year’s end. PTB at Mechuka is also under construction while Pasighat and Tezu already have the mandatory infrastructure.
He suggested that till completion of the Hollongi Airport, which can be later used as an operational base for DO-228 aircraft, flight services connecting Tezu, Pasighat, Ziro. Tuting, Mechuka and Vijaynagar may be extended to Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) airport so that passengers from these remote places coming to the state capital can avail these flights.
Further, till the completion of the Hollongi airport, the operational base of the Dornier aircraft may be made at Guwahati or Dibrugarh, he suggested.
Khandu assured that as required a Core Group will be constituted to finalize the operational plan for the two DO-228 aircraft within the next two months.
He also declared that the official opening ceremony of the DO-228 aircraft services will be held at Mechuka in the Shi-Yomi district and invited MoCA, HAL, Alliance Air and other officials to take the inaugural DO-228 flight to be there.
Present in the MoU signing ceremony were MoCA Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, Joint Secretary Usha Padhee, DoNER Secretary Lok Ranjan, Chairman and Managing Director, HAL, R Madhavan, CEO Alliance Air Vinod Sood, while the Chief Minister was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials.