A year on, aviation policies yet to take flight

Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 7

While connectivity and civil aviation was on the PDA government’s priority list when they first took power, the aviation sector in the state remains in a bleak state. 

The government had pledged that a new civil aviation policy to connect to remote locations and air ambulances would be established within six months. It also assured to work towards enhancing air connectivity with more flights to the rest of the country and to introduce international flights. 

For this, a committee was to be set up to submit its report within two months. The status of the report remains unknown. 

An official from Dimapur Airport informed The Morung Express that the last year has seen no changes.

As far as commitments were concerned, the lone airport for Nagaland still struggle to receive attention from the government “inspite of many concerns”, the officials said. 

“Air connectivity from Dimapur to other parts of the country has not been enhanced in the last one year and nor any international flight was put up in words till date.” 

However, 3 new regional flights from Dimapur to Guwahati, Imphal and Dibrugarh will soon take flight to which the official expressed that it will be a huge benefit.

Latest in August 2018, another feasibility study was undertaken for proposed Greenfield airport at Ciethu by a central aviation expert team. It may be noted that the aerodrome has been proposed since 2006. 

While the government will need to rethink on feasible policies, the Dimapur airport also needs attention or concrete alternative to address challenges for improving air connectivity for the state. 

With the monsoon approaching, the official also put up pertinent concerns on drainages from Sugar Mill village and NEZCC flowing into the airport. “Flights are either cancelled or delayed.”

The official also informed that though the state government has acquired huge tract of land near Chathe River for future expansion of the Airport yet the land is yet to be handed over to the Airport authority. This is causing a barrier for expansion and development. 

The Minister of Civil Aviations or Department Secretary could not be reached during the time of filing the report. 
Earlier, an official from the transport department informed that various projects to open helipads, increase helicopter flying hours have been proposed to impress upon concerned issues.