International flights from Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar town will start in the next two months, Chief Minister Adityanath said on Sunday, according to PTI. The Kushinagar airport was given the status of an international facility on June 24 by the Union Cabinet, which said the move will improve connectivity to the Buddhist pilgrimage site.
“Kushinagar is the central point of [the] Buddhist circuit,” Adityanath said, according to a statement. “A large number of followers of Buddhism come here, as this is the place where Lord Buddha attained Mahanirvana. He had given his first sermon at Sarnath.”
Residents of Laos, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and other countries wanted connectivity with Kushinagar, he said.
The statement came hours after the chief minister visited the airport for inspection with Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri.
Adityanath said the project would boost tourism and development as well as increase employment, according to The Times Of India.
Puri said that the Union Cabinet has sanctioned 18 new routes for the airport. Apart from this, other airports will be constructed, he added.
Additional Chief Secretary of Information Awanish Awasthi said that the construction of the terminal building was almost complete and that the tarmac has been laid out. “It would be a big infrastructure project that would boost the Buddhist circuit,” he said.
Currently, there are two operational international airports – Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport and the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow. Another international airport is under construction in Gautam Buddh Nagar district.