UP govt signs MoU with AAI for operation of 5 airports

Published on Jul 01, 2022 10:04 PM IST

Five years ago, Azamgarh’s name used to frighten people. We are now going to provide air services there, says Yogi Adityanath

UP government officials exchanging MoU with AAI officials in the presence of CM Yogi Adityanath for 5 new airports, at Lok Bhavan in Lucknow on Friday. (Sourced)
UP government officials exchanging MoU with AAI officials in the presence of CM Yogi Adityanath for 5 new airports, at Lok Bhavan in Lucknow on Friday. (Sourced)

LUCKNOW The Uttar Pradesh government on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authorities of India (AAI) for operations and maintenance of five airports at Azamgarh, Aligarh, Chitrakoot, Sonebhadra and Shravasti.

“Five years ago, Azamgarh’s name used to frighten people. We are now going to provide air services there,” said Adityanath after the MoU was inked.

The CM issued directives to develop these airports as per the standards required for Airbus A-320. He said a survey should be carried out by the AAI and necessary action for buying additional land should be taken.

Under the provisions of the MoU, the state government will develop the airports while AAI will manage and operate them. Additional chief secretary (civil aviation, UP) SP Goel and AAI chairman AK Pathak exchanged the MoU document on the occasion.

Yogi Adityanath’s observations assume significance as Azamgarh was till recently considered an area of domination of Samajwadi Party. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was MP from the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat. The BJP, however, wrested the seat from the SP in the recently concluded by-election to Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat.

“We have taken the Poorvanchal Expressway through the middle of Azamgarh. There were questions about how the work will be carried out there (in Azamgarh). But there was no opposition from anywhere and the people voluntarily gave their land for the construction of the expressway. The expressway was completed within the given timeline and Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated it to the public in November 2021,” he said.

The CM said Uttar Pradesh had only two operational airports (Lucknow and Varanasi) and two partially operational airports (Gorakhpur and Agra) when his government came to power in 2017. Now, there were nine operational airports connecting Uttar Pradesh with 75 destinations. He said UP would soon be the first state in the country to have five international airports.

Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushi Nagar were already working as international airports while two more international airports would soon come up at Jewar, (Gautam Buddha Nagar) and Ayodhya, he added.

The chief minister also spoke about the importance of the other four places having an airport now. He said Aligarh was known for hardware products and was also an important node of the defence corridor. Chitrakoot was an important part of the Ramayan circuit, Shravasti was connected to Lord Buddha while Sonebhadra was important for mining and having a sizeable chunk of tribal population, he said.

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