New Delhi: Major plans are on the anvil to boost air traffic and connectivity in the country's northeast, including the construction of four new airports at a cost of Rs350 crore ($85 million), according to a senior official of the civil aviation ministry.
The plans also include making operational 12 airports that are lying unused in the region.
'The government of India has launched a very careful roadmap for the development of airport network in the northeast region,' NK Srivastava, joint secretary in the civil aviation ministry, told an aviation summit here.
'There are currently 12 operational airports in the northeast and about the same number of airports which were operational before. We are looking at making these 12 airports operational,' he said.
'In addition to that, four new Greenfield airports will be developed at Sikkim, Kohima, Itanagar and Tamang,' he told a seminar organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) here.
Srivastava also said that the government had decided to enable all operating airports in the country with night landing facilities.
All this activity for improving and maintaining the country's airport infrastructure, will call for increasing investment levels, from the current Rs700 crore, to around Rs1,200 crore.
Air passenger traffic is expected to grow at around 20 per cent over the next few years, after a 45 per cent increase in domestic traffic and 15 per cent rise in international traffic last year.