Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat has now been put on country’s commercial aviation map after national carrier Air India for the first time touched the airport here on Monday.
The Alliance aircraft, a subsidiary of Air India, flew from Guwahati to Pasighat with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu as the first passenger.
It is for the first time since independence that a commercial flight landed just 300 km away from the Indo – China border.
Due to its strategic location, the airport was originally an Advance Landing Ground (ALG) which has mostly been used by the Army or the Air Force.
Now, it is open for civil aviation services too.
To the passengers, the distance of 650 km between Guwahati and Pasighat will cost around Rs 3,000.
Earlier, people had to travel from Guwahati or via Itanagar for almost a day in the hilly terrain to reach the place, which is the headquarters of East Siang district.
The flight from Pasighat would reportedly operate to and fro, three times a week.
Initially, it would take the Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat route on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
A successful test landing of the Alliance aircraft at the civil terminal of the Pasighat advanced landing ground was conducted on April 23, 2018.
Pema Khandu on Monday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing air connectivity to the state.
“Got my @airindiain Alliance Air boarding pass for my flight journey from Guwahati to Pasighat. Will be onboard in few hours. I am totally excited to be part of history – to travel in the first commercial fixed wing flight service to Arunachal. Pasighat I am coming! @PMOIndia,” Khandu wrote on Twitter.
“Landed safely at Pasighat airport few minutes ago flying from Guwahati on Alliance Air. Proud to be part of this historic moment. I am extremely thankful to PM @narendramodi ji and @MoCA_GoI for connecting Arunachal with airways. @PMOIndia @BJP4India,” said another tweet.