The Kushinagar airport in Uttar Pradesh has received the necessary clearances from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate international flights, said minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday.
Later, the state government, in a statement, declared that the Kushinagar international airport was fully ready for international flight operations.
Uttar Pradesh now has three international airports – Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar.
Puri, in a tweet, said, “Kushinagar airport gets necessary clearances from DGCA to become third licensed international airport in UP. (It) will boost tourism in the region and facilitate travel on Buddhist circuit by providing direct aviation connectivity to the city where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.”
It is expected that Ayodhya airport will soon join the list, the statement said.
“The airport of air connectivity, including regional air connectivity, has been on the wish list of chief minister Yogi Adityanath ever since he came to power. The resolve is showing as Uttar Pradesh already has seven airports – Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Prayagraj and Hindon (all functional), and the eighth one, Bareilly, will join the club with flights commencing from March 8,” the statement said.
The government is also working on developing an airport each in Azamgarh, Aligarh, Chitrakoot, Moradabad, Sonbhadra, Shravasti, Ayodhya and Saharanpur (Sarsawan) – all are under construction and will be operational soon. The Jewar international airport is coming up in Gautam Budh Nagar, it said.
“Once all the 17 airports become functional, the state will get a connectivity boost, upswing in tourism and employment,” UP civil aviation secretary Surendra Singh said in the statement.