Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Donyi Polo Airport at Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Rtd.) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and MP Nabam Rebia were also present on the occasion.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in his welcome address said, “Opening of this airport will be a significant step towards boosting connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh. The dream of having an airport in the capital city of the state is coming true today.”
Chief Minister Khandu said, “Today is a historic day for the entire state. This airport will not enhance the connectivity but will also provide momentum to the economic development of this region.”
While addressing the gathering, teh Prime Minister said “The Donyi Polo Airport is becoming a witness to the history and culture of Arunachal Pradesh. This airport will be the fourth operational airport for the state. With the development of the new airport infrastructure, huge opportunities in the field of cargo services will be created.”
Considering the importance of air connectivity to the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, a Greenfield airport has been developed on 694 acres of land at Hollongi, 25 kms from Itanagar. Developed at an estimated cost of Rs 645 crore, the airport is equipped to handle 300 passengers during peak hours. With a 2300 m runway, the airport is suitable for the operation of the A- 320 type of aircraft.
The terminal of the airport will be an energy-efficient building with the provision of the balanced use of glazing & wall panelling along with insulated roof, glazing and wall panels. The airport is equipped with LED lights in all areas and energy-efficient motor/drives for AHUs, AC compressors, conveyors, pumps etc. The sewage treatment plant will allow the use of treated water for horticulture purposes.
Work is also in progress for installing a Solar power plant of 150 KWp to use renewable energy in future.
Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh is a rich mixture of archaeological sites of great historical value, built-up resources and institutions of great socio-cultural significance.
With scenic vistas and adventure experiences, the town is a mini guide to the rich culture and traditions of Arunachal Pradesh. There is no airport in the vicinity of Itanagar, the closest one being Lilabari Airport which is at a distance of 80 Kms in the state of Assam and takes around three hours to reach by road. Presently, the state has three operational airports at Tezu, Passighat and Zero.
Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar is situated in the South-Western part of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Assam State, hence the airport will have a wide catchment area including South-Western parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Northern parts of Assam.
The airport will serve a population of over 20 lakhs of several adjoining districts like Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Lower Subansiri, East Kameng, Pakke Kessang and Kamle of Arunachal Pradesh and Biswanath and Lakhimpur districts of Assam.
PM Modi has laid emphasis on transforming Arunachal Pradesh into a major gateway to South East Asia by developing modern infrastructure across the state.
An airport to connect the capital city is a much-needed aspiration of the local community which will also accelerate economic activity in the region.
The development of the Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar will provide seamless connectivity to other parts of India and will improve the ease of access to the capital of Arunachal Pradesh.
The airport will also act as a hub for aviation connectivity in the state connecting even the remotest of areas and will play a vital role in providing relief to affected areas much faster in case of natural calamities.
The airport will act as a catalyst for the growth of trade and tourism in the region and also provide an opportunity for local produce like the world-famous orchids of Arunachal Pradesh to reach any part of India within hours.