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Umroi airport set to be aviation hub, says NEC

Regional connectivity

SHILLONG: The Shillong Airport in Umroi is now set to be the hub of the Regional Connectivity Scheme along with Guwahati.
North Eastern Council secretary Ram Muivah during an interaction with media persons here said that the airport along with Guwahati would be the hub of the scheme.
“The civil aviation ministry has selected Air Deccan to operate from Shillong Airport to Silchar, Imphal and Dimapur and the airline is scheduled to commence operations from September,” he said.
“I hope they start their services soon,” Muivah said.
He said during a meeting on regional connectivity in New Delhi recently, several state representatives wanted Guwahati to be the hub of the scheme but it was already a hub for the North East. Stating that a large number of passengers from the Meghalaya capital travel to New Delhi and other parts of the country by air, Muivah said Shillong also receives a large number of tourists and there would be no shortage of air passengers.
Meanwhile, Alliance Air, which operates an ATR flight from Shillong to Kolkata, will continue the service till March 2019 and since Alliance Air has only one flight, they will lease one more aircraft and fly to Dibrugarh and Pasighat.
Muivah further said the NEC had invited tenders and several firms were selected. “But since the firms took a long time to get the necessary permit from the civil aviation ministry, there has been the delay in operations.
“In the first phase, the service providers will start operations to Dibrugarh airport in Assam and Pasighat airport in Arunachal Pradesh. We have requested them to operate flights to Silchar, Imphal, Aizawl and Dimapur and they have agreed that it will be done in the second phase,” he added.
Muivah expressed concern that airports in the North East, including Guwahati, lack maintenance engineers, and as they are based in Kolkata, they were reluctant to come to the region
“The ministry of civil aviation must do something in this regard,” he said.

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