Ciethu airport to be ready by 2021 if survey goes well
Surveyors from Centre in Kohima
Kohima, Aug. 8(EMN): Nagaland may soon have another fully operational airport, Ciethu airport, 50 km away from the state’s capital Kohima by 2021 —provided that the technical survey and feasibility reports goes as planned. The site of the proposed airport, measuring 350 acres, has already been procured by the state government at the cost of INR 6.45 crore.
As was assured by the Union minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, a seven-member team from the Centre has arrived in Kohima to survey the site.
The government of Nagaland had re-proposed a Greenfield airport at Ciethu near Kohima for large aircrafts, which originally was proposed in 2004 and a survey carried out in 2006.
It was during a meeting with the chief minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, on June 18 at New Delhi that the Union minister gave the assurance that the Centre would send a technical team to undertake assessment prior to approving the proposed airport.
During a press briefing on the morning of Aug. 8 at the Assam Rifles helipad in Kohima, the state’s minister for Transport, Railways and Civil Aviation P Paiwang Konyak said that the purpose of the officials from the Centre was to undertake survey about the feasibility of said airport.
A similar survey was carried out at the proposed site in 2006 by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), which had completed the ‘techno-economic’ feasibility work. It was informed that the North East Council (NEC) had sanctioned INR 90 lakh while the state government sanctioned INR 10 lakh, taking the total to INR one crore for the survey.
Konyak informed that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) that was submitted in 2006 was nullified as the feasibility report was found to be ‘unclear.’ He said that a fresh DPR would be prepared after the day’s survey, for final approval.
Saying that the central government was emphasising on air connectivity, Konyak said that ‘almost all the states’ in the country had a Greenfield airport. He informed that the government was proposing for an airport in Kohima because, according to him, the only airport in the state located in Dimapur had ‘insufficient runway.’
The team of surveyors will carry see what kind of plane can be landed; the capacity and area etc., of the site, he said.
When queried whether or not the visiting team would be coming for another survey before the final approval, SD Tiwari, a joint general manager of the AAI was optimistic that another survey might not be required as the team had all the experts the task requires.
When queried about how soon the state can expect the Ciethu Airport to be fully operational, if the survey goes well, Tiwari said it would depend on the time of completion of logistic groundwork by 2021; by then the airport should be operational.