In a major milestone for northeast connectivity, the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi, 15 Kms from Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is likely to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.
Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh is situated at the foothills of Himalayas.
Presently, no airport exists in vicinity of Itanagar, the closest one being Lilabari Airport in Assam’s North Lakhimpur district which is at a distance of 80 km and takes around three hours to reach by road.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has undertaken a Rs 660 crore project to develop the airport to boost air connectivity in the mountainous areas.
Built in an area of 685 acres, the airport is suitable for the operations of Airbus-320 (A-320) category of aircraft.
The runway of the new airport is 2300 mtr. long, which can be extended by 500 m length to cater A-321 type of aircraft.
The Hollongi Airport can accommodate 300 passengers during peak hours with eight check-in counters. It is energy-efficient and will run on renewable energy.
The airport will also support night landing as it is equipped with homing and landing aides like VOR, ILS and Satellite based procedures for landing.
Hollongi airport witnessed operation of maiden calibration flight of AAI on 19 July 2022. This was followed by IndiGo conducting a successful test landing of an Airbus A320 at Hollongi airport on 18 October.
India’s largest airline IndiGo is looking to launch multiple flights, once the airport becomes operational. IndiGo is likely to connect Itanagar with Guwahati and Kolkata, and there is also a possibility of a direct flight between Delhi and Itanagar in the months to come.
Third Airport In The State
The Hollongi airport is the state's third after Pasighat and Tezu airports and only airport in the capital city. The state government has named the airport as "Donyi Polo Airport" to reflect the long-standing indigenous respect for the Sun (Donyi) and the Moon (Polo) among the populace.
The central government had earlier accorded its approval for setting up of the "greenfield airport" under the `Capital Connectivity Scheme` to build up fixed wing air connectivity facility to the state capital.
An airport to connect the capital city was a much-needed aspiration of local community which will also act as a primary gateway to the state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Donyi Polo airport in Itanagar would be northeast India`s 16th airport.
Currently, there are 15 operational airports in the north-eastern region - Guwahati, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Lilabari, and Rupsi (Assam); Pasighat and Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh); Agartala (Tripura); Imphal (Manipur); Shillong (Meghalaya); Dimapur (Nagaland); Lengpui (Mizoram) and Pakyong (Sikkim).
Arunachal Pradesh, a large border state with poor airport infrastructure, will see massive opportunities, when the Hollongi airport, becomes operational.
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