Arunachal Pradesh has finally made its place in the commercial aviation map a fixed-wing commercial aircraft that took off from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati landed at the Pasighat Airport in Arunachal Pradesh. This was the first ever commercial flight landing in the state after independence – making it a historic landmark event in the history of Indian civil aviation.
In pre-independence era, Arunachal Pradesh had an active air facility that was used by the British – however, after independence, the only aviation activities made in the state were related for armed forces. This was the case for all eight north Indian states – however, all other states but Arunachal Pradesh were eventually added to the domestic civil aviation map. But finally on Monday, state’s first commercial flight, an Alliance Air aircraft carrying 25 civilian passengers, landed at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. With this, Arunachal Pradesh, now has become the last state to be on the country commercial flight service map.
It too Arunachal’s first ever commercial flight, 1.5 hours to cover the distance of 650km from the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati and reach Pasighat Airport at 2:15pm on Monday, May 21. Interestingly, the first 25 passengers on the flight included Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Assembly Speaker TN Thongdok, other cabinet ministers and legislators who inaugurated the flight route. Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate the Calcutta-Guwahati-Pasighat route on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The flight from Guwahati to Pasighat will cost around Rs 3,000 per passenger. Earlier, in order to reach Pasighat, people had to travel from Guwahati or Itanagar for almost a day in the hilly terrain. About Pasighat, it was chosen out of the eight other options because of its feasibility and connectivity with other nearby cities – hence, the Advance Landing Ground (ALG) that was mostly used by armed forces will now welcome commercial flights too. Also, besides Alliance Air, other airlines like Zoom Air and Turbo Jet are also scheduled to launch operations in the state soon.