Uttar Pradesh will have five more airports in the next one month that will take the total number of airports in the state to 19, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Thursday as he flagged off direct flight from Ayodhya to Ahmedabad.
The Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30.
Scindia said that five new airports will be inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh in one month. The airports will be at Azamgarh, Aligarh, Moradabad, Chitrakoot and Shravasti, taking the total number of airports in the state to 19.
IndiGo, which has started services between Ayodhya and Delhi from January 11, will operate flights between Ayodhya and Ahmedabad thrice a week. The carrier will commence operations on the Mumbai-Ayodhya route from January 15.
Scindia flagged off the flight from Ayodhya to Ahmedabad virtually from the national capital. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the state’s Tourism and Culture Minister Jayveer Singh, Lok Sabha members Lallu Singh and Kirit Premjibhai Solanki also participated in the virtual event.
According to the Union minister, Ayodhya airport will be expanded and the runway will be extended that will allow landing of bigger aircraft and operation of international flights.
Adityanath said that around 100 chartered flights are expected at the Ayodhya airport for the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple on January 22.
Highlighting that improved air services contribute significantly to tourism and business activities, he said the number of air passengers in the state grew nearly 30 per cent to 96.02 lakh in the last financial year compared to 59.97 lakh in fiscal 2016-17.
The chief minister said that Ayodhya is now a sought after destination for everyone, and the government has improved its connectivity by road, rail, and air, aligning with the prime minister’s vision.
The state government allocated 821 acres of land and the civil aviation ministry developed a world-class airport within the given timeframe, he added.
The Ayodhya airport, which is built in an area of 6,500 square meters with the capacity of handling 600 air passengers at peak hours, will be expanded.
As part of the second phase of expansion, the airport’s capacity will be expanded to 3,000 passengers in the next phase.
Similarly, the runway which is 2,200 metres long will be increased to 3,700 metres so that larger aircraft and international flights can also operate from the airport, he added.
Scindia also said that air connectivity has increased sharply in Uttar Pradesh in the last nine years.
The state had only 700 flight movements weekly in 2014, which has now increased to 1,654 flight movements per week, he added.