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HomeNewsLakshadweep: India plans new airport at Minicoy Islands for civil, military aircraft

Lakshadweep: India plans new airport at Minicoy Islands for civil, military aircraft

Even as India is aiming to promote the Lakshadweep islands for tourists, India is now preparing to create a new airfield at the Minicoy Islands there that would be capable of flying military aircraft, including fighter jets, along with commercial ones.

Amid an ongoing disagreement with neighbouring Maldives, the Indian government is preparing to develop a new airfield at the Minicoy Islands of Lakshadweep capable of flying civilian along with military aircraft, including fighter planes, news agency ANI said on Tuesday citing sources.

“The plan is to have a joint airfield that would be capable of operating fighter jets, military transport planes and commercial aircraft,” ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Previously, suggestions for the establishment of a new airstrip at Minicoy Island were submitted to the government. The plan, now renewed, has been given to the government again, with the purpose of joint utilization.

The move intends not only to enhance tourism in the Lakshadweep islands but also to strengthen the monitoring capabilities over the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean region, with the building of the airfield.

The request for the airfield was first put out by the Indian Coast Guard, making it the first force under the Defence Ministry to do so. The present concept says the Indian Air Force will lead the operations from the airstrip, located in Minicoy Island.

The Minicoy airport, once operational, will strengthen the military forces’ monitoring capabilities in the Arabian Sea. Additionally, it will encourage area tourism, as specified in the government’s goals.

Currently, the Lakshadweep Islands has a single airfield in Agatti, which restricts the diversity of aircraft. This decision follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the region last week and the issue with Maldives that immediately followed.

The Lakshadweep has been the subject of attention and attraction since the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi there last week. Politicians in the Maldives’ ruling party (Maldivian Democratic Party) have been trying to attack the Indian government’s intentions to promote Lakshadweep as a tourism attraction and have tweeted against PM Modi and India.