International travel just got easier as Agartala’s Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport gears up to operate flights to Bangkok, Chittagong, and Dhaka. The newly upgraded terminal building of the airport opened to passengers late last week, with the first aircraft being welcomed by water cannon salutes. By Eshita Srinivas
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) recently stated that Agartala’s Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport (MBB) will be operating flights to Bangkok through Guwahati as well as Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh in the near future. This makes it the third international airport in the Northeastern region, alongside Guwahati airport in Assam and Bir Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal, Manipur.
Agartala airport has a new integrated terminal with world-class amenities
It was an entirely new experience for flyers’ while travelling through the new terminal building of #AAI’s @aaiagtairport. At the opening, passengers were welcomed with a beautiful dance performance of ‘Hojagiri’, the local dance form by local artists. @TripuraTourism #traveling pic.twitter.com/LYNDWrlo9U
— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) January 15, 2022
This news comes on the heels of the inauguration of the airport’s new terminal, led by Prime Minister Modi on January 4. The new terminal is set to handle over 5,000 passengers on a regular basis, both domestic and international, and has 20 check-in counters, one hangar, 10 immigration counters, five customs counters, and provisions for link cabs and bagging systems. It also has four aero bridges and six parking bays, both of which make up for more than double the amount it had earlier. In a report by the Free Press Journal, AAI official S Hankoip Jempu said, “With a built-up area of 30,000 sq. metres, the new terminal building has been designed to handle 1,000 domestic and 200 international passengers during peak hours and it is equipped with all modern amenities.”
Over INR 500 crore went into constructing the new terminal, which is now considered one of the best in the region. Featured here are sculptures, murals, and local artwork that reflect the culture of Tripura. It also has big retail outlets with food and beverage counters, the major attraction of which is a central food court. The first flight that arrived at the airport received water cannon salutes. Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Pratima Bhoumik, who was one of the many passengers aboard that first flight expressed her joy at the terminal being commissioned for the people of Tripura. “I am delighted to be a part of this historic moment and very fortunate to travel among the first passengers,” she stated. During the inauguration, PM Modi had stated that Tripura had the potential to become a gateway to other states in the Northeast and could usher in all-around development of the region, according to a report by NDTV.
Maharaja Bir Bikram airport is the second busiest airport in the Northeast
‘New airport building is quite impressive and has added many big facilities’
A regular flyer who was arrived today, expressed her satisfaction with the NITB Agartala. @moca_goi @aai_official @PIBAgartala pic.twitter.com/N5B9qQkmGE
— MBB Airport, Agartala (@aaiagtairport) January 15, 2022
Formerly known as Singerbill airport, the MBB airport is located 20 kilometres to the north of Tripura. It was first built in 1942 and was used as a technical base for the royal air force during World War 2. For years, the airport has been an important destination for Bangladesh nationals who wished to travel internationally or across India, since the airport is closer to their region than that of their own country. Now the busiest airport in the Northeast, in terms of aircraft handling and passenger volumes, right after Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati, the airport’s upgrade to operate international flights will ease connectivity across the country, according to a report by the Business Standard.