The Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh has got the necessary clearances from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flight services from the facility.
UP’s Kushinagar Airport to operate international flights! On Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh has got the necessary clearances from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flight services from the facility. Last year, in the month of June, the Union Cabinet had approved the Kushinagar airport’s status as an international facility, saying the airport will offer better connectivity to the important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Once the Kushinagar Airport begins operating international flights, it will become the state’s third functional international facility, according to a PTI report.
The move will give a boost to the tourism industry in the region as well as facilitate travel on the Buddhist circuit by offering direct air connectivity to the city where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana, according to Puri. At present, two international airports are operational in the state- Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at UP capital, Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at the city of Varanasi. Besides, another international airport is coming up at Jewar in Gautambudh Nagar.
According to the report, Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is the mid-point of the Buddhist circuit. Its nearby pilgrimage sites are in Lumbini, Kapilvastu, Shravasti. A little farther, there are pilgrimage sites in Sarnath and Gaya, the government had mentioned at the time of granting the international status to Kushinagar airport. The Centre had also stated that around 200 to 300 devotees from countries like Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia among other nations come to offer prayers at Kushinagar on any given day.
Meanwhile, in its 2021-22 budget, the state government of Uttar Pradesh has made a provision of Rs 2,000 crore for the expansion of the upcoming Noida International Greenfield Airport in Jewar. The government has also recently announced the setting up of an ‘electronic city’ near the Jewar airport. Also, the number of airstrips at the airport will be increased from two to six.