The East Champaran district administration in Bihar has expedited efforts to make the Raxaul airport functional, Economic Times reports.
The district administration is reporteldy set to send a proposal to the state government to revive the airport in view of the availability of land and infrastructure along with its strategic location.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) had established the Raxaul airport across 213 acres on the Indo-Nepal border after the India-China war in 1962. It has served as an emergency landing runway for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army and has been listed in the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
“The development of Raxaul airport is needed to make it operational. This airport has been included in the list of un-served airport for bidding under RCS-UDAN, but no bid has been received yet from any airlines to operate flight from Raxaul,” Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had written in a letter to Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Modi, ET reported.
According to West Champaran MP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, Scindia had also written to Bihar Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar and sought to acquire an additional 141-acre land for the development of the Raxaul airport. Only after the upgradation, the facility will be able to handle the ATR-72 type aircraft.
This airport is also included in the Prime Minister (PM) Package of Bihar in 2015 at an approved cost of Rs 250 crore. The Simara and the Nijagarh airports in Nepal are located merely 12 km and 18 km away from Raxaul respectively.
Exporters, industrialists and traders from north-west Bihar and Nepal are reportedly eager for the resurrection of the Raxaul airport as it will shorten the district’s distance with Patna, New Delhi and southern India. Towns in both the East and West Champaran districts aren’t on any scheduled air service route currently.
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