Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday, October 9, inaugurated the Greenfield Sindhudurg airport in Maharasthra under the UDAN scheme. The first flight connecting Sindhudurg with Mumbai under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme-Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) was also flagged off on the occasion.
The opening of the Sindhudurg airport will add to tourism value across the Konkan region. The Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia also said that the inauguration of the Sindhudurg airport and the start of flight (services) to Mumbai marks a new chapter in the glorious history of the Konkan region.
About the airport
Sindhudurg airport in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra is popularly also known as Chipi Airport. The airport spreads over an area of 275 hectares and the length of the runway is 2,500 meters. Aircraft like Airbus A-320 and Boeing B-737 with a narrow body can be operated here. Further, the airport terminal building also has the capacity to handle around 200 departing and 200 arriving passengers during peak hours.
61st airport under UDAN Scheme
The inauguration of the Sindhudurg airport marks the commencement of the 61st airport under the UDAN scheme. To date, 381 routes and 61 airports including 5 heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.
‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik’ or the UDAN scheme is a regional connectivity scheme spearheaded by the Government of India (GoI). The scheme aims to develop smaller regional airports to allow common citizens easier access to aviation services.
Location of Sindhudurg
Sindhudurg, Maharashtra lies in the southern part of ‘Konkan’. The district is named after the fort of Sindhudurg meaning “fort in the sea”, which lies on a rocky island just off the coast of Malvan.
Sindhudurg is famous for its beaches, temples, forts, art, and craft, and more. Kunkeshwar Temple, Sagareshwar Temple, Dhamapur Lake, Vijaydurg Fort, Tarkarli Beach, Tondavali Beach are some of the famous attractions in the district.
The Konkan region consists of numerous riverine islands, river valleys, and the hilly slopes of the Western Ghats. Geographically, Konkan is bound by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Deccan plateau to the east. The Konkan coast proceeds from the north at Damaon in the Gulf of Cambay and extends southwards along with the western seaside areas of Maharashtra and Goa. It meets the Canara coast at the northern edge of Karwar district in Karnataka.
To speed up local trade and tourism
“This development will open new avenues of growth of local trade and tourism. I am sure, with huge potential of the region, number of daily flights will increase to 20-25 within next 5 years,” said the Civil Aviation Minister on the prospects of booming local trade and tourism in the district.
Sindhudurg has prospects of domestic tourism as it houses several forts, temples, beaches, and more. People can also experience snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. With the inauguration of the airport at Sindhudurg, tourists can easily reach the district which will in turn foster tourism and related trade in the district.
Travel to become easier
The operation of the Sindhudurg airport would pin the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra on the national air map. Furthermore, the new flights will aid the traveling experience of people.
It would not only connect the people conveniently to the region but also reduce travel time. Before the opening of flight services, people had to use road and train services that take more than 10 hours between the two cities. The traveling time would now reduce to 85 minutes.
The new flight services will facilitate people of Sindhudurg not only in their travel to Mumbai but also opens them to additional connectivity with other metro cities directly connected with Mumbai such as Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad. The Sindhudurg airport would also be an option for people traveling to North Goa.
The airline M/S Alliance Air will be operating in the Sindhudurg – Mumbai route under UDAN 3.1. This is the 75th UDAN route to be operationalized by the airline. Alliance Air will deploy its 70-seater ATR 72-600 aircraft on the route.
Flight 9I-661 will operate from Mumbai to Sindhudurg while flight number 9I-662 will operate from Sindhudurg to Mumbai.