Guwahati airport to be connected with Bangladesh

-A Monitor Report 01 Nov, 2018 | 352 Views | 0 Comments
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New Delhi: Ministry of Civil Aviation of India has cleared an international air connectivity scheme that will connect Guwahati airport with Bangladesh and six other countries.

"The Airport Authority of India (AAI), on behalf of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Government of Assam, has invited bids for selection of airlines under the International Air Connectivity Scheme (IAC) Udan," Ravi Capoor, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries and Commerce said.

The bids are to be submitted to the AAI by November 22, according to the notice inviting e-proposals from interested air operators.

The draft scheme "envisions increasing the international ticketing to 20 crore by 2027", according to the document put out by the ministry.

As a first step, direct international flights will operate between Guwahati and Bangla-desh, Singapore, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Malaysia and Vietnam, giving a major boost to connectivity in the region.

As per the draft document, the scheme is to be made operational only for states which demonstrate their commitment to implement and provide the requisite support for promoting operations under the scheme.

The Assam government was the first Indian state to offer funds towards extending the Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme international.

Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam, proposed to provide Rs 100 crore as viability gap funding to this end at a meeting with captains of aviation industry in New Delhi last December.

This latest development comes within nine months of the foundation stone being laid for Guwahati's new integrated international terminal.

Expected to be completed by 2021, the new terminal building will be spread across 90,000 sq mts and will boast world-class features, including 20 aircraft parking bays, 64 check-in counters, eight immigration counters, eight customs counters, six arrival carousels.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will reportedly invest Rs 1,232 crore in this project.

Speaking on the occasion, Sonowal had said that it would lead to the emergence of Guwahati as the gateway to South East Asia. "We have 800 million people in and around us in Southeast Asia. This is a great market," he had added.