‘Umroi Airport has potential’
SHILLONG, Dec 21: The Shillong airport at Umroi has a history of irregular flights and has more or less remained non-functional due to challenges of logistics, terrain and passenger flow. However, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is optimistic that the airport has huge potential and all it needs is the support from all stakeholders.
Speaking to media persons, M Suresh, who has joined as the new Regional Executive Director (RED) of Airports Authority of India (AAI), North Eastern Headquarters, said that they are now focusing on strengthening the infrastructure at the airport with two additional parking bays, taxi ways etc. When asked about the idea of bringing bigger flights here, he said that for that to happen, some hillocks need to be levelled even as he added that for runway expansion, the Ministry of Civil Aviation would have to give the clearance for approach funnel.
It may be mentioned that an amount of Rs 7,000 crore is required to cut one hillock which is in close vicinity of the airport.
“We are working with Meghalaya Government in this regard,” he said, while adding that the Ministry of Civil Aviation would not give permission for runway expansion until and unless they ensure safe operations.
He also said that the matter pertaining to the construction of an alternative airport is the call which has to be taken by the state government and necessary discussions would be held.
Meanwhile, the AAI office also said that IndiGo will make their scheduled operations for the Shillong-Kolkata flight once again, while informing that the airline is not operating its Shillong-Kolkata flight due to the restrictions imposed by the Union government and once the COVID-19 situation normalises, IndiGo would definitely resume its services from the airport.