ITANAGAR- In another boost to the aviation sector in Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Pema Khandu today flagged off the first fixed wing commercial passenger flight to Ziro in Lower Subansiri from Lilabari in Assam to be operated by Alliance Air under the UDAN scheme of the central government.
Two more flights – Shillong-Lilabari-Shillong and Imphal-Aizawl-Imphal – were also launched during the inaugural ceremony held virtually, which was attended by union minister of civil aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia and chief ministers of Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram.
Speaking on the occasion, Khandu expressed gratitude to the central government, which he said, under the leadership of Narendra Modi has given utmost attention to develop the North Eastern states particularly in the connectivity sector.
“In all spheres of connectivity – road, rail, air and digital connectivity – North East has witnessed unprecedented progress in the last 8 years of Modi government. The once neglected and under-developed region today is at par with other developed states of the country,” Khandu said.
He informed, in the last 8 years, Arunachal Pradesh could develop and make air-worthy 9 advanced landing grounds that were lying dilapidated and unused.
“While Pasighat and Tezu already have fixed wing commercial air connectivity, today we have added Ziro. Of the remaining six ALGs, three are feasible for fixed wing flight landing and three – Tawang, Aalo and Walong – will be used as heliports,” Khandu said.
He said that once the airport at Hollongi is inaugurated and made operational inter as well as intra state air connectivity will get a major boost. Informing that the Hollongi airport is complete and ready for operation, he said Arunachal Pradesh is waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come and dedicate it to the people.
He also thanked Alliance Air for taking the lead in extending its flight services to the state and the region.
The chief minister was joined by state Civil Aviation Minister Nakap Nalo, Ziro legislator and Agriculture Minister Tage Taki in the virtual event.
CMD IVC Agrovet Pvt. Ltd KS Singhal and his spouse Usha Singhal from Mumbai and Gautam Phukan from New Delhi were accorded a warm traditional welcome by Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Bamin Nime, SP Sachin Singal and few other HoD’s. The historic event was also followed by lighting of the ceremonial lamp and cake cutting.
In the initial phase, the aircraft would fly two times a week at the Ziro-Lilabari stretch with a fare of Rs 863 per person.
Speaking on the occasion, DC Nime informed that it is a historic occasion for people of Lower Subansiri District and the state to get back air connectivity after so many decades after the Vayudoot service had stopped service in the early 90’s. Initially, Ziro would be connected to Lilabari and Shillong, he informed, while adding that Alliance Air is exploring more viable air routes to be expanded subsequently.
Earlier in the morning, the DC accompanied by SP Sachin Singal, DMO Dr Tage Kanno, Dr.Daniel, Nodal Officer and DFSCO Hage Tath, Wing.Comdr G.Tyagi, TSD President H.K Shalla, AWAZ Secretary Leegang Anya, ASU president Pura Nado, DITO Swan Tilling Tamang and personnels of Alliance Air and SIB attended the virtual inaugural launching programme of the airline service.