UP to get its 3rd international airport on Oct 20; All you need to know about Kushinagar airport

Countdown to the inauguration of Uttar Pradesh’s third international airport begins. On October 20, Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kushinagar International airport in the presence of ambassadors of at least 10-15 countries and more than 100 priests and eight high priests from Sri Lanka. Buddhist circuit tour operators will also be present at the event. 

Kushinagar is identified close to the modern village of Kasia, 30 miles east of the city of Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. The first flight during the inaugural ceremony will arrive carrying the President of Sri Lanka, along with 125 delegates and Boudh pilgrims.

PM Modi will also visit the Parinirvana Stupa, where Lord Buddha is said to pass away in 487 BCE in Kushinagar.

Yesterday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath reviewed the arrangements for the inauguration of the Kushinagar airport. The CM stressed cleanliness at the airport and directed the officials to finish all the work on time. After that, CM Adityanath visited the Mahaparinirvana temple and offered prayers.

The inauguration of Kushinagar international airport will coincide with the city being linked with other Buddhist sites by dedicated trains. The Centre is focusing on reviving the tourism sector with special impetus on Buddhist sites across the country. A senior official said that the Centre’s priority is to promote tourist places falling in the Buddhist circuit because before the Covid-19 pandemic India used to get nearly six lakhs tourists from around 13 Buddhist nations.

About Kushinagar airport

– Spread over 590 acres, the airport is licensed for operating B737-900 type or equivalent aircraft.

– Kushinagar Airport has a single 3.2km by 45-meter long runway with an apron that can accommodate four B737-900 types of aircraft at a time.

– The Union Cabinet had in June last year approved the Kushinagar airport’s status as an international facility, stating it will offer improved connectivity to the important Buddhist pilgrimage site.

– Kushinagar will be UP’s third international airport after Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi.

The Centre has accorded in-principle approval for setting up of 21 greenfield airports across the country: Mopa in Goa; Navi Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Shirdi in Maharashtra; Bijapur, Hassan, Kalaburagi and Shimoga in Karnataka; Dabra (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh; Kushinagar and Jewar (Noida) in Uttar Pradesh; Dholera and Hirasar in Gujarat; Karaikal in Puducherry; Dagadarthi, Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh; Durgapur in West Bengal; Pakyong in Sikkim; Kannur in Kerala; Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.

Out of the 21 airports, six greenfield airports namely, Shirdi in Maharashtra, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala, Orvakal(Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh and Kalaburagi in Karnataka have been operationalised.

Proposals for Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, Kottayam in Kerala, Pantnagar in Uttarakhand and Purandar (Pune) in Maharashtra have also been received

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