Know about the upcoming Airport Projects in Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government is eyeing a record of sorts by developing international airports and upgrading a bunch of World War II vintage airstrips into functional airports in different parts of the state.

For election campaigns, sixteen such airstrips are used now. As flying clubs are on the radar of the state and central governments for development mainly since the elections are just a couple of years away.

The upcoming airports in Uttar Pradesh are Kushinagar Airport, Ayodhya Airport, Jewar Airport, and Sonebhadra Airport. 

1. About Kushinagar International Airport

Kushinagar place has historical importance, as per legend, Buddha attained "Mahaparinirvana" in Kushinagar, and due to this tourists visit the place from several countries including Thailand, China, Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore.

Kushinagar is the mid-point of the Buddhist circuit. It has pilgrimage sites in Lumbini, Shravasti, Kapilvastu are nearby it. A little farther, it has sites in Sarnath and Gaya.

Though over a decade old, the Kushinagar International Airport has now become an important project of not just the UP government but also for the Centre. As the Chief Minister of UP Yogi Adityanath and Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri both are personally reviewing the project and announcing the start of the project by the end of the year.

It has political significance also. When the operations will start, it will become the 4rth international airport in the state after Lucknow, Varanasi, and the under-construction airport at Jewar.

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Advantages of the airport:

It is situated near the Nepal border and close to Bihar.

It would only be the international airport project in 150 km radius and Gorakhpur airport, about 51 km away and best caters to a small number of domestic flights.

The other airports in the area at Patna in Bihar, Kathmandu in Nepal, and Varanasi in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. 

Due to this, the airport can also cater to domestic passengers including thousands of migrant workers from the area who work in the rest of India and the Middle East.

For the Bihar Assembly elections, this could be a showcase project which is expected in a couple of months given the project’s possible impact on Siwan, Gopalkunj, Champaran, and Saran districts.

Advantage of Cargo and Multi-Modal transport

In 2010 and 2013, feasibility surveys are conducted and it was found that the site would be less than 2 km from the East-West corridor (NH-28) that connects Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.

It also noted the cargo potential given the fact that Nepal was a landlocked country.

2. About Ayodhya Airport

Both Central and UP governments hoping to make Ayodhya an International tourism hub after the work on Ram Temple. 

Last month, Ram Temple was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At the top of its agenda, the state has started work in a detailed development plan for the town with an International Airport.

Rs 525 crore has been approved by the state for the construction of the airport and likely to be named after Ram. 

An MOU was signed in 2014 with the Airports Authority of India for the up-gradation of the existing airport but the project could not take off. 

The state got a feasibility study last year and it was conducted on the 178-acre area that is used for flying club activities and non-scheduled flights by small aircraft. 

The target to start the first phase of an International Airport project by the end of 2021.

3. About Jewar International Airport

It will be developed in Gautam Budh Nagar district, the National Capital Region. The long-pending project was first proposed during the Rajnath Singh-led BJP government in the state in 2001.

This was never an easy project as the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi is within a 150 km radius.

In November 2019, the contract for development and operation of the project was given to Zurich Airport with a completion date of 2023.

4. About Sonebhadra Airport

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the latest airport that will come in the underdeveloped Sonebhadra district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Let us tell you that Sonbhadra is the second-largest district by the area of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is the only district in India which borders four states namely Madhya Pradesh in the west, Chhattisgarh in the south, Jharkhand in the southeast, and Bihar in the northeast.

It is one of the aspirational districts identified by the NITI Ayog, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had adopted it as a Rajya Sabha member and routed MP funds too. Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh has topped in the ranking of aspirational districts by government think-tank NITI Aayog for July.

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