After the airports at Guwahati and Imphal, North East is all set to get the third international airport. The Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport (MBB) at Agartala will be revamped to suit the international standards, and state-of-the-art facilities will be built under an INR 438 crore project. The project will be completed by the end of 2019. It is already the busiest airport after Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.
In any case, if climatic conditions hinder the progress of the project, the works will be closed by early 2020. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has approved the project, and the State Government has allocated 72 acres of land to AAI for the purpose. Once completed, the airport will handle an average of nine lakhs passengers every year.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has informed us that their ongoing works to make Agartala’s Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport as an international one, will be completed by this year-end. But if the works are hampered due to the monsoon season or any other factor, then the declaration would be made by early 2020, Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister Pranajit Singha Roy told INS.
The budgeted expenditure of INR 438 crore is expected to be escalated. However, our government is constantly asking the AAI to complete the works early and maintain the stipulated standards, the Minister added.
The decision to upgrade Agartala airport to international standard came after the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb discussed the matter with Civil Aviation Minister in New Delhi.
Agartala airport was initially built by King Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in 1942. The airport is known for its historical significance as the US army used the airport during World War II. During the world war, the airport was used as a supply point from which the unit air-dropped supplies and ammunition to the advancing Allied forces on the ground. The airport is located 20 km north of the capital city and sits just along the Bangladesh border.