Sonowal lays foundation for revival of World War II era Rupsi Airport

GUWAHATI: Chances of revival of now defunct World War II era Rupsi Airport in Kokrajhar district of western Assam has brightened with Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday laying the foundation the revival project work of the airport.

The old airport which has remained out of operation since 1984, is being turned around with a view to augment the air connectivity of lower Assam and  Bodoland Territorial Council areas. Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu also participated in the foundation laying ceremony through video conferencing.

Rupsi Airport in Kokrajhar district is located some 23 kms away from Dhubri town. It  is being developed under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) by Ministry of Civil Aviation for a total amount of Rs 70 crore.

The airport covers an area of 337 acre which will have provisions for handling ATR 72-500 type aircrafts in its two bays. It will have a terminal of 3500 squaremeter area which will be able to handle 250 passengers.

Sonowal said that the airport, once functional, will be able to boost the economic development of the lower Assam districts such as Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar etc., by augmenting the air connectivity in the area as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put emphasis on the rapid development of the entire Northeast region since coming to power in 2014.

The chief minister also urged the residents of neighbouring areas of Rupsi Airport to maintain the natural beauty of the place by preserving the water bodies so that it can become the most beautiful airport in the country.

Rupsi Aiport is being made functional as per the Bodo Accord and it is expected to play a big part in accelerating the economic development of the BTC areas by connecting to places like Guwahati, Bagdogra, Kolkata etc.

Constructed by the British during World War II to supply arms, manpower, and ammunition to the Allied forces, Rupsi Airport was functional until the 1980s.  It was used by the United States Army Air Forces Tenth Air Force in the China Burma India Theater. Regional airline Vayudoot used to operate services to the airport in the 1980s but withdrew services and the airport stopped functioning in 1984.

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