- Third International Airport Launched in UP’s Kushinagar
- Flight from Colombo with a delegation of 100 Buddhist monks to touch down base first.
- Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata to connect to Kushinagar in the coming months.
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated UP’s third Internation airport at Kushinagar. He underlined that special attention is being directed towards the creation and development of the places linked with Lord Buddha. He also said that the expansion of Kushinagar is the prerogative of the UP Government and the Central Government.
He opinionated that the creation of the airport would facilitate the development of an entire ecosystem and shape up new job opportunities. The residents of UP now have access to 9 new airports and the Jewar airport, estimated to be one of India’s largest, is under construction at the moment, he added.
Kushinagar is one of the chief pilgrimage centers for the followers of Lord Buddha. The place is believed to be sacred because it is here that Lord Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana (salvation) after his death. Sri Lankan Sports Minister, Namal Rajapaksa, one among the delegation of 100 people to arrive at Kushinagar airport, considered it a privilege for the Sri Lankan airlines to be the first to land at the airport and commended the PM for this gesture.
In addition to the inauguration, Modi also engaged in the celebration of Abhidhamma Day which symbolizes the culmination of a three-month rainy retreat, popularly known as “Varshavaas” or “Vassa”. He did so by worshipping the reclining statue of Lord Buddha at the Mahaparinirvana temple along with planting a sapling of Bodhi tree.
The net expense involved in building the airport summed up to 260 crores and it would help boost impeccable connectivity to the Mahaparinirvana Sthal of Lord Buddha. It would inevitably boost the economy of the region. Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme of upgrading underserviced air routes, SpiceJet and Truejet have been furnished with flights to establish connectivity between Kushinagar and Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Gaya, Bareily, Hindon, and Saharanpur.
The conception of the Kushinagar airport project began in 2008 and 590 acres of land had been acquired for the same. The UP Government and the Airport Authority of India formed an agreement directed towards developing and operationalizing the airport in 2019. The AAI has constructed a new terminal at the airport that can capacitate 300 passengers in an hour, along with a 3.2 km stretch of the runway and accompanying infrastructures like taxiways and aprons.
Starting 26th November, Delhi-Kushinagar flights operate 4 times a week, as reported by Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia. Subsequently, the airport would also be connected to Mumbai and Kolkata.