In what is being considered as a landmark in the Indian civil aviation history, a fixed-wing commercial aircraft that took off from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati landed at the Pasighat Airport in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday.
Out of the eight northeastern states, Arunachal Pradesh, now has become the last to be on the country commercial flight service map. Though the state of Arunachal Pradesh had air-transport facility from the pre-independence, it was mainly for the use of armed forces.
Here are the 10 things you need to know about the historic moment:
1. The 42-seater ATR Aircraft of the Alliance Airlines (a subsidiary of Air India) landed at the Pasighat Airport at 2:15pm on Monday, May 21.
2. The flight took 1.5 hours to cover the distance of 650km from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati to Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat airport.
3. A total of 25 passengers, including Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Assembly Speaker TN Thongdok, other cabinet ministers and legislators, became the first passengers of the inaugural flight from Guwahati airport.
4. Alliance Air plans to operate commercial flight services on the Calcutta-Guwahati-Pasighat route as well. The flight would be operational thrice a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
5. The flight from Guwahati to Pasighat will cost around Rs 3,000 per passenger. Earlier, in order to reach Pasighat, people had to travel from Guwahati or Itanagar for almost a day in the hilly terrain.
6. Out of the eight locations shortlisted, Pasighat and Tezu were selected for fixed wing flying while Daporijo, Itanagar, Wallong, Yingkiong, Ziro and Tuting have been selected for helicopter services.
7. Arunachal has over 10 advanced landing grounds and 120 helipads across the state for both defence and civil purposes.
8. Besides Alliance Air, Zoom Air and Turbo Jet are looking forward to commence their services in the region soon.
9. The Pasighat airport was primarily an Advance Landing Ground (ALG) and was mostly used by the Armed forces.
10. This was also the first time that a commercial flight landed just 300 km away from the Indo-China border since Independence.