Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh. Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other dignitaries were also present at the ceremony. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister gave its approval for the declaration of Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport in June 2020.
Kushinagar Airport is located in the vicinity of several Buddhist Cultural Sites like Sravasti, Kapilvastu, Lumbini (Kushinagar itself is a Buddhist cultural site) and declaration as an “International Airport” will offer improved connectivity, wider choice of competitive costs to the air-travellers. It will result in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions.
Kushinagar is located in the north-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh about 50 km east of Gorakhpur and is one of the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites. The inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport will be marked by the landing of the inaugural flight at the airport from Colombo, Sri Lanka, carrying a Sri Lankan delegation of over a hundred Buddhist Monks and dignitaries including the 12-member Holy Relic entourage bringing the Holy Buddha Relics for Exposition.
The delegation also comprises of Anunayakas (deputy’s heads) of all four Nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka i.e Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramana, Malwatta as well as five ministers of the Government of Sri Lanka led by Cabinet Minister Namal Rajapakshe.
The Kushinagar International Airport has been built at an estimated cost of Rs. 260 crore. It will facilitate domestic and international pilgrims to visit the Mahaparinirvana sthal of Lord Buddha and is an endeavour in connecting the Buddhist pilgrimage holy sites around the world. The airport will serve nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is an important step in boosting the investment & employment opportunities in the region.