Amid trading of charges between Shiv Sena and BJP over renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, the Industry Minister Subhash Desai on Tuesday met the Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and urged him to name the Aurangabad airport after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. Besides, he appealed to the minister to expand the runway of the airport to facilitate international flights and increase the frequency of flights between Mumbai-Auangabad-Mumbai.
Besides, he urged the minister to allow the installation of a statue of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj within the airport complex.
Desai in a letter said a resolution to recommend changing the name of the Aurangabad airport to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj airport was unanimously passed in march 2020 by both the houses of the Maharashtra Legislature. ‘’The same resolution has already been forwarded to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. As you are aware, the contribution of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj to the Maratha Empire has been immense and he is an iconic figure in Maharashtra’s rich and vibrant history. I request you to kindly take necessary action to rename the airport as this will be a fitting tribute to Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj,’’ he noted.
He claimed that the renaming of Aurangabad airport is of great importance to Aurangabad and Maharashtra at large.
Further, Desai made a strong case for increasing the frequency of flights to Aurangabad which is an international tourist destination comprising world heritage sites like Ajanta and Ellora. ‘’Looking at the importance of Aurangabad as an international tourist destination and industrial hub of Marathwada region, the frequency of flights has to be increased. You are requested to start morning Mumbai to Aurangabad and Aurangabad to Mumbai flights. These flights will have sufficient passenger load,’’ he said.
Desai also urged to expand the runway at the Aurangabad airport owing to the increase in air traffic and future requirements. ‘’This may require additional land acquisition but must be taken up on priority and we must ensure that existing air traffic is not impacted while carrying out these works,’’ he said.