NE India’s 15th airport to become operational on Saturday


Commercial operations in Rupsi airport, northeast India’s 15th airport and Assam’s 7th, would start from Saturday, officials said on Thursday.

An Airport Authority of India (AAI) official said that a trial flight was conducted on the Guwahati-Rupsi-Guwahati route by private Flybig airlines on Wednesday.

“The trial run was completed timely and safely with extended support from the state government and agencies concerned. The flight is scheduled to operate on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Booking for this route has been opened by Flybig airlines,” the AAI official said.

The airport in Assam’s Kokrajhar district has been developed at a cost of Rs 69 crore under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (RCS-UDAN) scheme.

“The airport is one of India’s newest in RCS route which would cater local population providing direct connectivity to cities like Guwahati and Kolkata,” the official said.

Spread across 337 acres, the newly-developed airport has a terminal building with an area of 3,500 square metres, and its runway is suitable for ATR-72 type aircraft.

An AAI release said that the airport is also provisioned with sustainability features like rainwater harvesting system, solid waste management system and horticulture works besides being near a fenced forest with rich fauna and flora.

The airport will cater the need of air travellers from four western Assam districts of Dhubri, Kokarajhar, Bongaigaon and Goalpara as well as neighbouring states like West Bengal, Meghalaya and some parts of Bhutan.

There are 14 airports in the northeast region — Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur and Lilalabari (Assam), Tezu and Pasighat (Arunachal Pradesh), Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya), Dimapur (Nagaland), Lengpui (Mizoram) and Pakyong (Sikkim). The AAI is also developing the Hollongi airport in Arunachal Pradesh, boosting air connectivity in the mountainous areas.

Meanwhile, budget airline, Flybig, announced that their flights would connect Guwahati, Rupsi, and Kolkata initially and subsequently Agartala, Dibrugarh, Tezu and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh would be connected with Guwahati and Shillong.

Company CEO Captain Srinivas Rao said that Flybig is bringing connectivity to northeast region at a time when the country is facing challenges due to Covid-19 pandemic and safer means of transport have become critical to ensure the aspirations of the emerging region and its economy.

“Partnering with Central and state governments to leverage initiatives such as the Regional Connectivity Scheme under the government’s UDAN project, Flybig endeavours to be the development platform for the region in which it operates,” a company statement said.