Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Sunday laid the foundation stone for a terminal at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here.The new Integrated Terminal Building, to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,232 crore, will have 64 check-in counters, 20 self check-in kiosks, eight immigration counters, eight customs counters, six arrival carousels, 10 escalators, 25 elevators, 16 self-baggage drop counters and 20 aircraft parking bays among others.To be spread over 90,000 sqm, the building will also be equipped with world-class passenger facilities and will have the capacity to handle 3,100 passengers during peak hours.The interiors of the building will depict local handicrafts, murals and popular tourist destinations of Assam.Raju said the development could take place due to the motivation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal."...we have become the fastest growing aviation (sector) in the world and the third globally in domestic traffic."Our aviation team works hard at all levels. Before the NDA government came to power, only 73 airports in the country were connected where commercial flights used to go.
But within three and a half years, 18 airports have already started functioning under the present government," said the Union Minister."When the state and the Central governments work together, nothing can stop India's progress. We have to learn to work together to make our country great in all spheres and under the dynamic leadership of Sonowal, Assam will prosper."Terming the occasion very important for the future generation of the state, Sonowal exuded confidence that the initiative would help in the realisation of the state's growth potential and forging better economic ties with the South East Asian nations."Transportation and connectivity are the two most important means for economic prosperity. The Assam government accords top priority to improve communication and engages in faster development of road, rail and air linkages besides internet connectivity.""We have 800 million people in and around us in the south east. This is a great market and through implementation of Act East Policy we want to take the development forward," he said.With growing air connectivity, he said the transformation narrative of the region would receive a major impetus and this would lead to emergence of Guwahati as the gateway to South East Asia.