AIZAWL, OCT 12: State chief secretary Lalmalsawma today said that Mizoram government is mulling over handing Lengpui Airport, the lone airport in Mizoram and only state-owned airport in the country, to Indian Air Force (IAF).
Speaking to media persons in a press conference here, Lalmalsawma said the authority of IAF earlier proposed to handle the lone Lengpui airport near Aizawl for airforce operation.
He said that the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command wrote to the state Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on June 24 asking for leasing the Lengpui Airport to the IAF for 45 years. “The state government is mulling over handing the airport to IAF to ameliorate burden as maintenance of airport in the hand of the state government is technically and financially expensive,” he added.
Chief secretary Lalmalsawma told reporters that as per the proposal made by the IAF authorities, the Air Force would look after the entire buy gabapentin powder operational area of the airport and security while the state government would continue to manage the Terminal building and the apron. In line with the above proposal the AAI and the IAF in a joint operation have now currently looking after many airports in Bagdogra, Mohanbari, Guahati and Silchar. “The Mizoram government has already sent two aviation officers to study the AAI and IAF operated Silchar airport,” he said.
Lalmalsawma further said that a meeting was held between the state government officials and representatives of the IAF on October 6 over the proposal. He however, added that the discussion was only a preliminary and no concrete decision with condition was made at the meeting.
Citing about the IAF’s proposals, Lalmalsawma said the Air Force would look after the entire operational area of the airport which includes Runway, Runway lights, ILS and communication equipments. While the government would continue to look after Terminal building and the apron. It has been estimated that the average revenue income of Rs. 2 crore is received annually by the state government from Terminal building and the apron or parking area.
All the revenue income from the entire operational area except Terminal building and the apron will go to the IAF.
As regard security, the IAF would deploy its men at the operational area while the state government would deploy Terminal building security at its own cost. At present the security system is maintained by the state police and CRPF accordingly which the state government paid Rs 5. lakh annually for deployment of 1 company of CRPF.
The Mizoram’s lone Lengpui Airport was commissioned on 12 December, 1998 and was inaugurated by the then Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani.
The government has been taking relentless effort for upgradation of the airport. In 2011 Instrumental Landing System (ILS) Cat-1 was installed at the airport. Measures are also underway to extend the apron and to create a 90mx120m diameter of Runways Ends Safety Area and install DVOR for upgradation of navigation and communication.
In 2013, Lal Thanhawla led Congress government had mulled over handing the lone Lengpui airport to AAI. But the negotiation ended in deadlock due to security issue.
Meanwhile, opposition parties have strongly opposed the Mizoram government’s move to hand over the state’s lone Lengpui Airport to IAF warning that they would launch massive agitation if the congress government went ahead with the proposal to hand over the airport to IAF.