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Big connectivity boost for air passengers of the northeast; Rupsi airport to start commercial operation from today

KOKRAJHAR: Commercial operations in Rupsi airport, northeast India’s 15th airport and Assam’s 7th, would start from today.

The first commercial flight will take off from the airport at 11.40 am.

The newly-launched domestic airlines Flybig conducted a successful trial of its flight at the airport on May 5.

The airport will help people of Lower part of Assam and Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) to travel to major cities and states of the country, as the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Borjhar in Guwahati is too far for people of Dhubri, Kokrajhar and other cities and towns of lower Assam.

The airport would also make it convenient for travelers to reach Gelephu in Bhutan through Dadgiri, which is the principal entry point via road to Bhutan from India.

The airport will also get more tourists to the tourist destinations to those travelling to the Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary in Kokrajhar and little part in Dhubri district, Ultapani Reserve Forest in Kokrajhar district, Jaldapara National Park in Alipurduar district and the Buxa Tiger Reserve of West Bengal.

An estimated cost of Rs. 70 crore was spent to make the airport suitable for operation of ATR-72 type of aircraft, including a 3,500 square metre terminal building.

The airport is also provisioned with sustainability features like rainwater harvesting system, solid waste management system and horticulture works besides being near a fenced forest with rich fauna and flora.

Flybig  airlines will start its operation in the northeast region from today and initially, the flight service will connect Rupsi to both Guwahati and Kolkata airports and in due course of time, other destinations of the northeast will be covered.

Rupsi

The Rupsi airport is located in Rupsi, near Dhubri in Kokrajhar district of Assam.

Though the airport was originally under the revenue circle of Dhubri district, the area was carved out and became a part of the BTR.

The airport is operating under Airport Authority of India (AAI).

The Rupsi Airfield was constructed by the British during World War II to supply arms, manpower and ammunition to the Allied forces.

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It was used by the United States Army Air Forces Tenth Air Force in the China Burma India Theater.

Regional airline Vayudoot used to operate services to the airport in the 1980s but withdrew services and the airport stopped functioning in 1984, following which, the state government made unsuccessful attempts to revive the airport with the joint initiative of the Union ministry of Civil Aviation and the North Eastern Council (NEC).

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