Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday said all Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in the state should be made fully functional for regular use at earliest possible.
“We had several meetings with the Indian Air Force authorities regarding ALGs but a few issues are still unresolved. We need to move ahead with concrete decisions so that all the ALGs are made functional for regular use as soon as possible,” Khandu said. He was speaking in a meeting with IAF Chief of Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal C Hari Kumar in Itanagar.
The Chief Minister directed the state Civil Aviation Secretary to personally intervene and coordinate with the IAF authorities to sort out all pending issues, an official release said. He sought a detailed report on this from his secretary by October 30. Seven ALGs in the state were handed over to the IAF for making them functional. Of these five have been completed, which are at Ziro, Aalo, Pasighat, Mechuka and Walong. The other two – one at Tuting is scheduled to be completed by December and the other at Tawang by April 2017.
However, certain issues like encroachment and constructions around few of these ALGs remain a security concern that have to be resolved before fully operationalizing them, the statement said. Khandu admitted these concerns raised by IAF that cannot be compromised and asked officials to create awareness among the people and convince them to abide by the pre-conditions that would come with the much needed air-connectivity.
He sought special attention of the officials on the ALGs of Ziro and Aalo that have major issues of air safety and air-space, especifically for use of fixed-wing aircrafts, as raised by IAF due to presence of civilian population in the vicinity of landing strips. Chief Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin observed that confidence of the local populace, who have emotional and historical attachments with their habitations, has to be won and an amicable solution evolved in consensus with them.
“We make it clear that we have no objection to a civilian terminus in these ALGs. It is upon the state government, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to decide how to go about it,” Air Marshal C Hari Kumar said. Establishment and operationalisation of civilian terminus and passenger/commercial flights is at their sole discretion, the Air Marshal said.