Assam would soon have helicopter services from Guwahati to different district towns, as also more flights between the Assam capital and cities in different South-east Asian countries, union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said on Tuesday. Informing this, official sources said while Sinha agreed to the two proposals made by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal during a meeting between the two here on Tuesday.
“Sinha also informed that work for expansion of new terminus of the Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi International airport in Guwahati with a project cost of Rs 1142 crore will start from November. The meeting also discussed scope for increased frequency of flights between Guwahati and other ASEAN countries to make Guwahati truly a gateway to South-east Asian countries,” a statement issued by the CMO said.
Assuring his ministry’s help to boost regional connectivity, Sinha also discussed with Sonowal plans for constructing a twin city and a new airport in the suburbs of Guwahati. A task force would be constituted involving representatives and experts from both the Central and state governments to study the viability to make the project a reality, it said.
“Pursuant to the chief minister’s request, the union minister also assured to start helicopter services between Guwahati with other towns of Assam and the North-eastern region. The chief minister said while the state government would construct heliports in smaller towns including all amenities, the Centre would provide subsidised helicopter services under UDAN-II scheme,” the CMO statement said.
The union minister also assured resumption of daily flights between Guwahati and Dibrugarh that were withdrawn by the private airlines, and also announced starting a regular flight between Dibrugarh and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh soon. “Regarding the alleged hike in air-fares in view of disruption of rail link between Assam and other parts of the country, the union minister said that he had already taken up the matter with the appropriate authority and steps have been taken to rationalise the fare,” the statement said.