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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Purnia set to find place in country's air map

Aditya Nath Jha, Hindustan Times  Purnia, October 20, 2012
First Published: 12:55 IST(20/10/2012) | Last Updated: 13:00 IST(20/10/2012)

People of Purnia can now reach Patna in just 45 minutes and Kolkata in 70 minutes as the much-awaited 10-seater chartered plane services would start from Chunapur air force station on November 7.

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Wing commander Vishwajeet Kumar, posted at Chunapur station of Indian Air Force, said initially the services would be available twice in a week, on Tuesday and Saturday.

The frequency of the plane might be increased later depending on the response, he added.

While Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000 would be charged for one trip to Patna, the fare for Kolkata would be between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 4,500, Kumar said, adding that the demo for the first flight of the chartered plane would be conducted on October 25.

The first flight service between Purnia and Kolkata was introduced in 1956.

However, the  services were discontinued in 1958. Chunapur Air Force Station was built in 1963 after Chinese aggression.

Air  services were reintroduced here in 1976. However, it was again discontinued after two years.

"After about four decades, chartered plane services are going to start here again," Kumar said.

 He hoped that the services would generate good response from the people as Purnia, of late, has emerged as one of the statefs major commercial centers.

"The proposed services would add Purnia in the country's air map," Kumar added.

The runway of Chunapur air force station (11000 x 150 feet) is similar to other big cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mangalore.

The air force station is spread in an area of 700 acres and its air base is under construction. A sum of R800 crore had been sanctioned for this, Kumar said, adding that the project would be completed next year.

"Initially, 10 fighter helicopters would be stationed here. Radar system would follow soon," Kumar said.


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