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Expansion of Darbhanga airport caught in bureaucratic red tape

The expansion of North Bihar's lone airport at Darbhagana is caught in the bureacratic redtape with centre and state government blaming each other for the failure to make the much needed progress.

The Darbhagana airport besides providing connectivity to most parts of North Bihar also connects various border towns in the Indo Nepal border which has a large Indian population. The air services from the airport  to Delhi Mumbai and Bengaluru started last year

The spark for the debate started when Bihar chief minister Nitish wrote to the Civil aviation ministry regarding increased connectivity, renaming of the airport, transfer of airforce land and declaring it as an international airport. He also pressed for creation of cargo facility.

civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri shot back requesting the intervention of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to expedite land acquisition for the development of Darbhanga airport.

“I would request your personal intervention to direct the concerned officers to expedite the acquisition of land for development of airport and also take up issues of raising the height of the boundary wall with IAF,” Puri wrote in his letter to the CM.

Once the land is available, the new terminal building for the airport would be constructed

In his letter to Bihar CM, Puri has assured to construct a new civil enclave once the land is handed over to Airport Authority of India (AAI). “Once the land is available, the new terminal building for the airport would be constructed,” stated the letter.

Airport authority of India has taken up the project, worth Rs 20 crore, to provide night landing facilities at the airport. As of now, limited night landing facilities are available here but their operation is not possible due to limitations imposed by the IAF, it added.

The AAI has requested the state government to provide 54 acres for development of permanent civil enclave and another 24 acres for installation of CAT-1 approach light for uninterrupted operation during bad weather.

The existing infrastructure at the Darbhanga airport is not capable of handling the massive demand according to the state government.

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