Donyi Polo Airport will bring in economic prosperity; boost connectivity of frontier state Arunachal Pradesh

Pankhi Sarma

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Itanagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 19, 2022 inaugurated the much awaited Greenfield Airport Donyi Polo in Arunachal Pradesh.

Located in Hollongi in the capital town Itanagar, the brand new airport promises to give a major push to air connectivity of the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh which is bordering China.

In a freewheeling exclusive tete a tete with the Business North East Dilip Muralidhar Sanjnani, Project General Manager and Director of Donyi Polo, Airport Authority of India details out the unique feature of the airport and future plans.

Donyi Polo

BNE: Can you share the story how Donyi Polo Airport- first Greenfield Airport became operational in Arunachal Pradesh.
Director: The Greenfield Airport of Itanagar, Donyi Polo has been inaugurated a month back by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Where Donyi Polo is located today is used to be a remote area. The construction work of the airport was affected during the COVID outbreak. However, people have worked day and night through multiple shifts. With the support from state government and other deployment agencies, the work was on steadfast. Despite the restrains like heavy rainfall in this region, we completed the work in time. Also other facilities like logistics and transportation will take some time to get developed.

BNE: How many aircrafts are operating from the new airport?
Director: At present, Indigo and Alliance Airways have flagged off their services from Donyi Polo Airport. Indigo airlines will be available from Donyi Polo to Mumbai via Kolkata and Alliance will provide interconnectivity in areas like Pasighat, Diburgarh, Ziro. We are hopeful to start the airlines services by Flywig from Donyi Polo to Guwahati.

BNE: What are the infrastructural facilities of the airport?
Director: At a time three airbuses can be parked at the airport. Apart from the four helicopters can be accommodated additionally. We have sufficient area. We have already started the airbuses. Basic facilities like food outlets of snacks and beverages have been included. Also tender have been issued for more food outlets at the airport and taxi services as well. Parking and trolley services are already available at the airport.

BNE: Total workforce of the airport?
Director: We have around 55-60 staff at present. However, the numbers may rise along with the implementation of additional services and more aircrafts.

BNE: What are the benefits of having an airport in remote state like Arunachal Pradesh?
Director: After establishing the Donyi Polo airport, there will be a boost to connectivity in Northeast.
In coming time, local produces from the region will be exported. With the addition of more enhanced services, it shall keep generating employment for the people.

BNE: Total investment went into construction of the airport?
Director: Total project cost for the Donyi Polo Airport is Rs. 645 crores. Also the state government has borne the additional costs like rehabilitation of chakma villagers, electrical alliances, water supply.

BNE: How the airport spur up the economy of the state?
Director: This is one of the biggest airport in Arunachal Pradesh. As it accommodates three airbuses and four helicopters, it can be said that it will add to the development of Arunachal Pradesh while the state’s connectivity flourishes throughout the nation.

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Pankhi Sarma