With the inauguration of Kushinagar international airport on Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh gets its third international airport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Kushinagar airport with a flight from Sri Lanka becoming the first to touch down at the new airport. Apart from this, the other two international airports – Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi — are operational in the state while another one is coming up at Jewar in Gautam Budh Nagar.
Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries were also present at the ceremony.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that India is the centre of the faith of Buddhist society around the world. He termed the facility of Kushinagar International Airport, launched today as a tribute to their devotion. “This region, the Prime Minister said, is witness to the entire journey from the enlightenment of Lord Buddha to Mahaparinirvana. Today this important region is getting directly connected to the world,” he said.
He also said that the special focus is on the development of the places associated with Lord Buddha through better connectivity and the creation of facilities for the devotees. The Prime Minister welcomed the Sri Lankan flight and delegation that landed at Kushinagar. Paying tribute to Maharshi Valmiki on his Jayanti today, the Prime Minister said that the country is marching on the path of Sabka Vikas with the help of Sabka Satha and Sabka Prayas. “Development of Kushinagar is one of the key priorities of the UP and central governments,” he said.
“In UP alone, including this airport, 9 new airports and terminals have been made available to people. Jewar Airport, which will be India’s largest airport, is also being worked on at a record pace,” said the Prime Minister.
SpiceJet to commence flights from Kushinagar international airport
SpiceJet has announced the addition of Kushinagar to its domestic network starting 26th November 2021. SpiceJet’s flights on the Delhi-Kushinagar-Delhi sector will operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The airline will be connecting Kushinagar with two more key metros – Mumbai and Kolkata.
The Kushinagar International Airport has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore. It will facilitate domestic and international pilgrims to visit the Mahaparinirvana sthal of Lord Buddha and is an endeavour in connecting the Buddhist pilgrimage holy sites around the world. The airport will serve nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is an important step in boosting the investment & employment opportunities in the region.
In June 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi had given its approval for the declaration of Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport.
Kushinagar Airport is located in the vicinity of several Buddhist Cultural Sites like Sravasti, Kapilvastu, Lumbini (Kushinagar itself is a Buddhist cultural site) and declaration as an “International Airport” will offer improved connectivity, a wider choice of competitive costs to the air-travellers. It will result in boosting domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions.