Airports in North-East operating, expanding at full strength amid Covid-19

India’s northeast region has been experiencing a tourism boom in recent times with a rapidly expanding network of airports, which has been a most significant contributor.

Airports Authority of India (AAI), the largest airport operator has been tirelessly striving to establish a robust, futuristic airport infrastructure in North East India that can meet the need of the projected influx of passengers in coming years.

Major airports in the region are receiving a facelift to offer world-class facilities. Equipped with the latest technology, the new terminal buildings are an integral component of the expansion programme, AAI said in an official statement.

M. Suresh, Regional Executive Director of AAI in an official statement said, “Mainly this expansion will help the passengers to have hassle-free travel inside the terminal building – the airport access from the city to the terminal building. The good connectivity so that inside the passenger can enter.”

“Earlier, there was one entry point, now we have opened 2-3 entry points depending upon the traffic size, so that the queue for the passengers to be reduced. Similarly, for checking also we have increased or doubled the capacity of checking counters as well as check security counters we just doubled it,” he added.

It is not just the infrastructure, but AAI has been ensuring a seamless journey, even during the pandemic. The Covid-19, which turned things upside down for people across the world, is being methodically managed at these airports.

Thorough screening, safety kits, frequent sanitization are part of the standard operating procedures being followed inside the airport premises. Airports in North-East Region have been able to successfully win the trust of the passengers.

“They are trying to keep the safe distance. They are giving us masks, shields to prevent the droplets,” a passenger at Agartala Airport said.

Rajeev Kapoor, Airport director at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport in Agartala said, “The new terminal building will be able to handle 1,200 passengers at one time, a rise from 500 passengers we are handling currently. 1,000 in those will be domestic passengers while 200 will be international. So, our facility will be bigger than double the current size.”

Amid pandemic, on an average 180-190 flights are operational in the North-East region with a passenger footfall of 18,000 to 20,000 every day. With a consistent double-digit growth rate in passenger volume, the Indian aviation industry is gearing up to become the third-largest industry in the world.

A surge in the number of operational flights from the North- East is its immediate plan of action.

AAI believes in the homogeneous development of airports across all parts of India which is the key to the comprehensive growth of the industry and Airports in the vast region of north-eastern India could just be the beginning towards that goal.


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