The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced to upgrade the domestic airports in Imphal and Agartala into international airports as part of India’s “Look East” policy to boost the region’s connectivity and trade with Southeast Asia.
The preliminary work has began and the terminal buildings, air traffic control towers, runway and other necessary infrastructure would be expanded at the budget of over Rs.160 crore. Modern Air Traffic Control towers at a cost of Rs.10 crore each in the two airports.
Guwahati airport is currently the only international airport in the region and there are 11 operational airports in the northeast.
According to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Imphal Tulihal Airport would become an operational international airport in July later this year.
To improve the air connectivity in the northeastern region, the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) have open fresh bids inviting for a dedicated regional airline to connect selected airports in eight northeastern states recently.