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Aviation Ministry proposes smaller aircrafts for NE
Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 26:
Published on 27 Jun. 2011 1:00 AM IST
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Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi Sunday said that his ministry has proposed to acquire smaller aircrafts to improve the air connectivity in the North East sector.
“Our long plan is to improve intra-regional air connectivity in the region. A proposal is on our mind to acquire 26-seater aircrafts to connect all state’s capitals with these smaller aircrafts,” Ravi said.
“Presently, we don’t have the money to acquire these (smaller) aircrafts but discussions are on with Development of North Eastern Region Minister (DoNER) B.K. Handique for this purpose,” he said.
Stating that the civil aviation ministry was keen to allow private airlines to improve the intra-regional connectivity, Vayalar Ravi , however, candidly said no private operators have come forward with a proposal.
Ravi, who inaugurated the new terminal building of Shillong airport in Meghalaya, Saturday, said, that his ministry have decided to make Assam’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport as a regional hub to increase air connectivity in the region.
The regional hub is expected to become operational early next year, while the central government has proposed to built 12 new airports, in addition to the existing 11 airports to improve air connectivity in the Northeast.

No plans to resume chopper services in North East region

There are no plans as yet to resume helicopter service in the Northeastern states Ravi said
“We have decided to ground all the Pawan Hans helicopters operating in the region until the mapping of chopper routes throughout the region is completed,” he said.
“Helicopters cannot fly here and there as wishes of the pilots,” Ravi said.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended operations of Pawan Hans Helicopters in the Northeastern states following the chopper crash in which the former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu was killed.
Revealing that he had received a status report on the functioning of Pawan Hans helicopters, Ravi said, “Some of the helicopters needs to be repaired and some of them are old. There is also a suggestion to purchase new helicopters.” Asked if Pawan Hans will be allowed to resume their services in the region, Ravi said, “We will assess first their machineries before allowing them to operate in the near future.”
Ravi, however, said that his ministry would welcome any private operators who can provide choppers for better air connectivity in the Northeast.
“Let them (private players) submit their proposal and we will examine it,” Ravi added.
When asked about the allegations that old choppers were being used in the northeast leading to the crashes, Ravi said, “We are awaiting the investigation report of the chopper crash of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister.”
A three-member committee has been formed to probe into the circumstances that led to the crash of Khandu’s chopper, where he along with four others died near Tawang last month.

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