On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport in Uttar Pradesh. The airport was built to unite Buddhist pilgrimage sites worldwide and promote pilgrims’ journey to the ultimate resting place of Lord Buddha.
The Prime Minister honoured the recent Air India-Tata deal, calling it a “major step” for India’s aviation sector. “A major step related to Air India was taken recently to run the country’s aviation sector professionally and to give priority to facilities & security. This step will give new energy to India’s aviation sector,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
PM Modi said it would “benefit all” from farmers, animal keepers, shopkeepers, and workers and local industrialists. “It’ll create ecosystem of business. Tourism will get maximum benefit, it’ll generate employment for youth here,” he said.
“The effort will be to have a network of more than 200 airports, heliports and water dome in the nation in the next 3-4 years,” the Prime Minister added.
Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh is the last resting place of Gautama Buddha, where he achieved Mahaparinirvana after his death and is amongst the most important pilgrim places for Buddhists.
SpiceJet will begin running a nonstop flight between Delhi and Kushinagar soon.
“It (Kushinagar International Airport) is a great gesture of PM Modi and especially inviting Sri Lankan airlines to be the first international carrier to land at Kushinagar International Airport,” Sri Lankan Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa told PTI.
The airport has been built at an approximated value of Rs 260 crore, and the new terminal building is spread across 3,600 square metres. It has been produced by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Uttar Pradesh government.
The new terminal can hold 300 passengers during peak hours. The airport will help draw more followers of Buddhism from home and abroad to Kushinagar and improve the growth of a Buddhist theme-based path. The journey of Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Kushinagar, Shravasti, Rajgir, Sankisa and Vaishali of the Buddhist circuit will be covered in less time, the civil aviation ministry said in a release on Monday.