The MBB airport, located 20 km north of the Tripura capital city, is the second most active airport in northeastern India in terms of operating aircraft after Guwahati.
Maharaja Bir Bikram airport
Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) airport in Agartala would soon begin working for international flights, the date is yet to be informed. “The first connecting flight would be to Bangkok via Guwahati airport; Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh,” Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials told.
According to the AAI officials, the MBB airport, located 20 km north of the Tripura capital city, is the second most active airport in northeastern India in terms of handling of aircraft and passengers after Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport in Guwahati.
LGBI and Bir Tikendrajit International Airport
- The LGBI and Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal (Manipur) were earlier announced international airports and the Civil Aviation Ministry before beginning the Bangkok and Bangladesh bound flights would soon announce the MBB airport as the third international airport in the northeastern region, they told.
A water cannon salute was witnessed after the first flight with 143 passengers on board from Kolkata landed at the latest integrated terminal building of MBB Airport, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 4.
The commencement of the new terminal building was attended by Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik, who was among the first passengers to embark from the airport. A brief cultural function and a famous Hojagiri tribal folk dance were staged by the tribal women artists on the occasion.
Built for Rs 500 crore and with a built-up area of 30,000 sq. meters, the recent integrated terminal building has been developed to handle 1,500 passengers including 200 international passengers during prime hours and it is provided with all modern amenities, the AAI officials told.
The officials further told that the new terminal building is supposed to be one of the best in the northeastern region and with all modern facilities, the new integrated terminal building would enable over 5,000 passengers footfall per day. The Agartala airport, which was first built in 1942 after the land was donated by the then Tripura king Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur, was used as a technical base for the Royal Air Force during World War II.
Agartala airport, earlier known as Singerbhil Airport, was renamed after Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur in July 2018. It is being used in a big way by Bangladesh nationals, for whom Agartala sometimes is the first step to a destination in India or overseas as the airport is much closer to their areas than their own country’s airports.
Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister
Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister Pranajit Singha Roy told that as the MBB airport was already set with all international facilities and standards, the state government has been demanding the central government to initiate the operation of flights from this airport to the neighboring countries.
According to historian and writer Pannalal Roy, the land for the Agartala, Kailashahar and various other (now abandoned) airports in Tripura had been donated by the then Tripura kings.
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“During the Second World War, King Bir Bikram supported and supported the Allied powers, especially Great Britain. He deployed a contingent of the Tripura Army to assist Great Britain.
During that period Agartala, Kailashahar, and other airports were built to promote the Allied powers,” told Roy, who authored many books on Tripura`s royal history. He told that in 1943 Japanese fighter planes twice bombarded Agartala airport.
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