By Shabana Islam Laskar
Guwahati, November 16: The Central government has granted twenty-two airports and helipads in Northeast region under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
Under RCS, the Central government has granted twenty-four airports and helipads across the country out of which twenty-two airports are for the Northeast region. Arunachal Pradesh will have airports in nine locations, Assam will have five, Manipur will also get five, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Sikkim will have one airport each.
The government wants to connect the remote areas of India with each other through the air to enhance the economic growth of every State and Northeast is in the priority list for the purpose as it shares its border with the neighboring countries.
This is the second phase of RCS, in the first phase only six locations of Northeast has been covered for construction of airports which included Shillong, Dimapur, Imphal, Silchar, Aizawl and Agartala.
As per Airports Authority of India (AAI), most of the airports in Northeast India and in other hill areas are being used by the Indian Air Force, though they have separate arrangements for the civilians. AAI is also restoring many existing airports in the region and is expanding few airports so that it can accommodate bigger aircrafts.
Sikkim will have its first airport at Pakyong for which Rs 553.53 crore has been granted by the government.
Out of twenty-four, Jammu and Kashmir will have two airports as the government wants to increase connectivity in all the hill areas first.