Meghalaya: sites for constructing greenfield airport indentified in the state

01 May 2022

The state of Meghalaya notified the high court that various locations have been tentatively selected for constructing the new airport in the state, since the current facility at Umroi may not be enlarged.

A division bench led by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee granted the state government and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) two months to report on the status of a PIL seeking the expansion of the existing Shillong airport.

The state government was ordered by the court in March to provide a preliminary report on whether to build a greenfield airport or expand the existing Umroi airport after the AAI stated that extending the runway at the current facility would not be viable.

Following the AAI's recommendation that a greenfield project is started elsewhere if 2,000 acres of land become available, the state plans to accept public expressions of interest by May 15.

The bench said that the state further submits that certain sites have been tentatively selected and it is for the AAI to decide on any favourable answer to the request for expression of interest.

According to the AAI, the present airport's runway may not be able to be expanded to accommodate big aircraft. The state also agreed that the cost of felling the neighbouring mountains might not be worth it, as per the ruling.

The case's next hearing is scheduled for July 11. The high court intervened after attempts to widen the runway at Shillong Airport, located around 30 km north of the city, failed.

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Also read: Chief Secretary reviews status of airports to file PIL in Patna HC

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