The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is exploring the possibility of upgrading the Agartala and Imphal airports in the north eastern region after Guwahati to facilitate travel for high-level international business delegations from bordering countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan, official sources said on Monday.
The sources said a high level meeting of the AAI would be held in Agartala on June 6 for upgradation of the Agartala airport which would be attended by Civil Aviation Secretary K N Srivastava and Chairman of AAI, V P Agarwal, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and top officials of the state government.
They said as part of its “Look East” policy, India is now trying to establish connectivity and trade with Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan.
The North Eastern Council (NEC) has invited fresh bids recently for a dedicated airline in the region, sources in NEC said.
Sources said Rs 160 crore would be spent to build up infrastructure like air traffic control towers, runway etc to gradually develop Imphal and Agartala airports to international standards.
There are 11 operational airports in the North-East, including Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Silchar in Assam, Dimapur in Nagaland, Agartala in Tripura, Aizawl in Mizoram, Imphal in Manipur and Barapani in Meghalaya.
The proposed regional airline will also be connected with Bagdogra airport in North Bengal.
Tripura Transport Secretary Kishore Ambuly said the meeting will also discuss about developing two abandoned airports, Kailashahar in Unakoti district and Kamalpur in Dhalai district.