The international airport at Kushinagar will boost travel on the Buddhist circuit and lift local economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport, giving the place where Lord Buddha had attained ‘Mahaparinirvana,’ a direct connection from the world.

Terming the launch of the International Airport as a tribute to the faith of Buddhist society, the Prime Minister said the region is a witness to the entire journey from the enlightenment of Lord Buddha to Mahaparinirvana.

While welcoming the Sri Lankan flight and delegation that landed at Kushinagar, the Prime Minister said, “Development of Kushinagar is one of the key priorities of the UP and central governments.”

He said tourism in all its forms, whether for faith or for leisure, needs modern infrastructure complete with rail, road, airways, waterways, hotels, hospitals, internet connectivity, hygiene, sewage treatment and renewable energy ensuring a clean environment.

All these are interconnected and it is important to work on all these simultaneously. Today's 21st century India is moving ahead with this approach only”, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister announced that under the UDAN scheme, more than 900 new routes have been approved in the last few years, out of which air service has already started on more than 350 routes.

More than 50 new airports or those which were not in service earlier, have been made operational, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister highlighted the development regarding the aviation sector in Uttar Pradesh as air connectivity is constantly improving in the state.

In Uttar Pradesh, 8 airports are already functional before Kushinagar airport. Work is on Jewar International Airport after Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar.

Apart from that, airport projects are going on in Ayodhya, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Moradabad and Shravasti, he said.

Referring to the recent decision on Air India, the Prime Minister remarked that the step will help in running the country's aviation sector professionally and prioritizing convenience and safety.

“This step will give new energy to the aviation sector of India. One such major reform is related to the opening of defence airspace for civil use”, he added. This step will reduce the distance on various air routes,” the Prime Minister added.

The Prime Minister also conveyed that the recently launched drone policy is going to bring life-changing transformation in the fields ranging from agriculture to health, to disaster management to defence.