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Updated on: Saturday, October 09, 2021, 05:51 PM IST

Watch video: Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia speaks in Marathi at inauguration of Chipi Airport, says 'I have traditional relationship with Maharashtra'

ANI Photo

ANI Photo

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Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday during the inauguration of Chipi Airport in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra speaking in Marathi said, "with the operationalisation of this airport, a new chapter has been added to the history of the saffron land of Sindhudurg."

During the event he said, my relation with Maharashtra is not just political but also I have a traditional and blood relationship. Further he said, "the vast history of Sindhudurg and history of our Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is also long."

Praising Sindhudurg, Scindia said, this district is a symbol of bravery and I remember the history 500 years ago."

Recalling history, he said, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj along with Shinde, Holkar and Gaikwad and defeated the Portuguese and the British.

Today, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the new greenfield Chipi Airport, putting the pristine coastal Konkan region on the national air-map. Apart from Scindia, MSME Minister Narayan Rane, Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other dignitaries were also present at the event.

The inauguration was preceded by the maiden Mumbai-Chipi Alliance Air commercial flight making a smooth landing amid loud cheers and music, bringing a host of VVIPs for the event. More than two years ago, then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and former Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu had inaugurated the new terminal building and other facilities at the Greenfield Airport as flights under the UDAN scheme were expected to be launched from there.

After overcoming a series of delays the Chipi Airport - first in the Konkan - was finally ready at a cost of around Rs 520 crore under DBFOT and launched operations from Saturday. Aviation circles said that most seats are booked till Diwali on various flights connecting Sindhudurg with Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Nagpur and gradually other cities.

With a runway length-breadth of 2,500 metres X 45 metres, which can be extended by another 1,000 metres, the airport can manage up to 400 passengers or two flights per hour with an estimated annual capacity over a million passengers. The airport can handle aircraft like A-320 and B-737 and give a huge fillip to tourism in Konkan, renowned for its magnificent coastline, dazzling beaches, big and small rivers, creeks, abundant greenery and natural beauty, ancient temples, sea and land forts, a rich cultural heritage, unique lifestyle and major historical landmarks.

The Chipi Airport will also create more opportunities for the regional economy as the state government has announced plans to develop the coastal region as a major tourist and business-cum-leisure travel hub, hoping to convert 'Konkan to California'.

Initially scheduled to operate intra-state flights, later the Chipi Airport would offer inter-state connectivity to Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc, with a target for over two-dozen daily services in five years, according to Scindia.

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Published on: Saturday, October 09, 2021, 05:51 PM IST
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