Air India decision will boost aviation sector: PM on Kushinagar airport inauguration

Unveiling the new airport, PM Modi said that it will “benefit all” — from farmers, animal keepers and shopkeepers, to workers and local industrialists.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport in Uttar Pradesh. The airport was constructed to connect Buddhist pilgrimage sites around the world as well as to facilitate the travel of pilgrims to the final resting place of Lord Buddha.

The Prime Minister hailed the recent Air India-Tata deal, calling it a “major step” for India’s aviation sector. “A major step related to Air India was taken recently to run the country’s aviation sector professionally and to give priority to facilities & security. This step will give new energy to India’s aviation sector,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

Inaugurating the new airport, PM Modi said that it will “benefit all” — from farmers, animal keepers and shopkeepers, to workers and local industrialists. “It’ll create ecosystem of business. Tourism will get maximum benefit, it’ll generate employment for youth here,” he said.

“The effort will be to have a network of more than 200 airports, heliports and water dome in the nation in the next 3-4 years,” the Prime Minister added.

Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha where he attained Mahaparinirvana after his death, and is among the most important pilgrim spots for Buddhists.

SpiceJet will soon begin operating a direct flight between Delhi and Kushinagar.

“It (Kushinagar International Airport) is a great gesture of PM Modi and especially inviting Srilankan airlines to be the first international carrier to land at Kushinagar International Airport,” Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa told PTI.

The airport has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore and the new terminal building is spread across 3,600 square metres. It has been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Uttar Pradesh government.

The new terminal can handle 300 passengers during peak hours.

“The airport will help in attracting more followers of Buddhism from home and abroad to Kushinagar and will enhance the development of Buddhist theme based circuit.

“Journey of Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Shravasti, Rajgir, Sankisa and Vaishali of Buddhist circuit will be covered in lesser time,” the civil aviation ministry said in a release on Monday.

(With PTI inputs)

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