File photo: Arunachal CM Pema Khandu. Photograph:( Twitter )
Arunachal Pradesh on Monday found a place on the aviation map of the country as the state's first commercial flight with Chief Minister Pema Khandu among 25 passengers on board, landed at Pasighat Advance Landing Ground in East Siang district.
The 42-seater ATR aircraft of the Alliance Airlines touched down at Pasighat airport around 2.15 pm after 1.5-hour journey from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati.
"Landed safely at Pasighat airport few minutes ago flying from Guwahati on Alliance Air. Proud to be part of this historic moment. I am extremely thankful to PM @narendramodi ji and @MoCA_GoI for connecting Arunachal with airways (sic)," the CM tweeted minutes after landing at the airport.
He also shared pictures of the aircraft along with its crew on his Twitter handle.
Addressing a gathering at Pasighat, Khandu said, "It is a history in making. With this commercial flight, new vistas of economic development have opened in the region. Besides, the flight services will also open up ample opportunities for the tourism industry".
Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate flight services on the Calcutta-Guwahati-Pasighat route thrice a week - on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Landed safely at Pasighat airport few minutes ago flying from Guwahati on Alliance Air. Proud to be part of this historic moment. I am extremely thankful to PM @narendramodi ji and @MoCA_GoI for connecting Arunachal with airways. @PMOIndia @BJP4India pic.twitter.com/jRUZWABjmX— Pema Khandu (@PemaKhanduBJP) May 21, 2018
Arunachal has enormous potential for generating hydro-power and producing a wide range of horticultural and agricultural products, but communication has always been a bottleneck in the state, Khandu said.
"Now, with the launch of the commercial flight, tourists from other states and foreign countries will be able to visit the picturesque locales of the state," he said.
Expressing hope that the new airport would also open avenues for economic development, the CM said if the decks were cleared for cargo aircraft in the near future, the indigenous products of the state could also be sold to other parts of the country.
Khandu also said that another airport at Tezu in Lohit district will be made operational shortly.
"Besides, Zoom Airlines is scheduled to introduce its services in the state soon," he added.
Arunachal Pradesh has about 120 helipads and 10 advanced landing grounds, built for defence as well as civil purposes.