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Maharashtra [India], October 9 (ANI): Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday, along with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Rajiv Bansal, Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Vineet Sood, CEO, Alliance Air virtually inaugurated the greenfield Sindhudurg airport in Maharashtra and also flagged off the first flight from Sindhudurg to Mumbai.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackrey was also present in the programme.
According to the press release issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Union Civil Aviation Minister in his address said that the inauguration of the Sindhudurg airport and the start of the flight to Mumbai marks a new chapter in the glorious history of the Konkan region.
"This development will open new avenues of growth of local trade and tourism. I am sure, with huge potential of the region, the number of daily flights will increase to 20-25 within next 5 years," the Minister said.
Calling the day momentous for the people of Maharashtra, he said that the inauguration pins the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra on the national air map. These new flights will further add convenience and comfort to travellers creating a gateway for the people to easily access the Konkan region noted for its pristine beaches, temples, and forts.
"These new flights will facilitate people of Sindhudurg not only in their travel to Mumbai but also opens the horizon of additional connectivity with other metro cities directly connected with Mumbai such as Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad. Moreover, the Sindhudurg airport is a good option for people travelling to North-Goa," Scindia he said.
The airport is spread over 275 hectares area. The runway length is 2500 meters. (8202 ft.) and is capable of the operation of narrow-body aircraft like Airbus A-320 and Boeing B-737. The airport Terminal Building has the capacity to handle 200 departings and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours, informed the release.
Sindhudurg Airport is also known as Chipi Airport.
The inauguration marked the commencement of the 61st airport under the UDAN scheme and successful operationalization of the 381 routes under UDAN. Now people can fly at ease by opting for a flight of 85 mins from Sindhudurg to Mumbai while earlier they were forced to opt for a road or train travel of more than 10 hours between these two cities, according to the release.
The airline M/S Alliance Air was awarded the Sindhudurg - Mumbai route under the UDAN 3.1. This is the 75th UDAN route operationalized by the airline. Alliance Air will deploy its 70-seater ATR 72-600 aircraft on the route. The financial incentives in the form of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) are being provided from the Centre, State governments & airport operators to selected airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports under the scheme, the release further said.
"To date, 381 routes and 61 airports including 5 heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme," according to a statement (ANI)