Airlines can operate only 50 per cent of pre-COVID domestic flights from June 1: Government

Express News Service
PATNA: Under the central government’s UDAN scheme, demand for new airports has started gaining momentum. Residents of remote districts like Purnia, Bhagalpur, West Champaram, Gopalganj and others have expressed their desired after the successful running of the newly operational Darbhanga Airport.

According to the figures issued by the Airports Authority of India, Darbhanga saw a passenger traffic of over three lakh in the first fortnight of July this year since it became operational in last November.

In Bihar, three airports are oprational in Patna, Darbhanga and Gaya but still the state deserves eight of these in its major cities like Bhagalpur, Purnia, Gopalganj, Saran, West Champaran, Begusarai , Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi”, Siddhant Saran, a youth said, adding that air connectivity from across these districts will  also enhance the employment opportunities in and around the airports.

Pankaj Kumar from Purnia said that the people are protesting here for an airport as this part of Seemanchal is far from Patna. “A huge number of people have to either go to Patna or Darbhanga airport in case of emergencies. There we deserve a new airport under the the UDAN scheme. PM Modi had assured the nation that even common people will fly in aeroplanes,” said Vinit Kumar, a youth who works in a Delhi factory.

Ranjeet Kumar, another youngster who is employed in Gujarat, feels that those airports that are operational now need to be renovated with better flight connectivity.

Dr Satyendra Kumar, a social researcher on human development at Patna, said that demand for new airports in Bihar is genuine considering the state’s industrial growth and expansion of other infrastructure. “In near future, Bihar is set to become a hub for industrial growth with more than 135 proposals worth Rs 71,289 crore received for various industrial units now. Not only this, districts, which are in need of airports still have high rate of migration of labourers but the people are affording to take flights since the last one decade,” he said.