Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today said work to increase air connectivity in the state should be expedited. He urged the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to complete the construction of a terminal building in Allahabad and other basic facilities before the 2019 Ardh Kumbh, and said the UP government will extend all possible help. Adityanath directed the officials to ensure that land for the construction of the terminal building be made available by September. The chief minister made these observations while interacting with Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju here. “From the aviation point of view, UP is a very big market. There are immense potential for religious tourism,” he said while requesting the union minister that the air strip at Chitrakoot be extended to 2,500 metres to boost tourism.
On Gorakhpur airport, Adityanath said Gorakhpur is the centre of Buddha Circuit, and efforts should be made to expand the airport by establishing connectivity with Kolkata, north- eastern states, Kathmandu, Singapore and Bangkok. He also said deliberations should be done to start helicopter services to prominent tourist places like Mathura, Vrindawan, Prayag, Vindhyachal, Naimisharanya, Kushinagar and Varanasi. The chief minister also expressed his happiness over the in-principle approval of the proposed Greenfield airport in Jewar. Adityanath also assured that the state government will give all possible help to the Indira Gandhi National Aviation Academy.
Raju said, “The Centre has worked extensively in the field of civil aviation. In 2014, there were only 395 aeroplanes in the country. In the last three years, orders have been placed for 900 aircraft, which will be made available in the next three to four years. “Due to ease of doing business and decline in prices of fuel, the sector is expanding.” He said that under regional connectivity scheme, there is an expansion in linking airports with flights.