Six airports in the Northeast are likely to get direct connection to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries soon. While speaking at the second ASEAN-India Youth Summit, held in Assam recently, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu announced that since Northeast India and ASEAN region have less aerial distance, air service could be started from at least six airports in the Northeast connecting ASEAN countries. The ASEAN countries include Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei and Laos.
While speaking on air connectivity, the Chief Minister stated that all the seven Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) were developed during the 1960s and have been rebuilt and are operational. He further said that once the airport in the State capital, Itanagar comes up, the ALGs along with one civilian airport at Tezu town will be put to use to start air connectivity services within Arunachal Pradesh using fixed wing aircraft.
Recently, PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Hollongi airport near Itanagar. Last year, in the month of September, Sikkim was finally added to the country’s aviation map. The Pakyong airport, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is situated at a distance of around 30 kilometres from the state’s capital Gangtok. The State’s first airport was built at a cost of Rs 350 crore.