Now UP has 10 airports, of India’s total 141

Lucknow airport

Rama Krishna Sangem

Now  Uttar Pradesh has become the only state in the country to have over 10 operational airports. On March 10, the prime minister inaugurated multiple airports and airport terminals across the country. This included Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Moradabad, and Shravasti in Uttar Pradesh. With this, India now has 141  operational airports, both domestic and international.

Compare this with the total operational airports – 5,600 in the US and 450 in China.  

Close to the heels of this opening, regional carrier flybig has started sale of tickets for flights to Shravasti, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot and Aligarh from Lucknow. The airline on its website mentions these to be under RCS-UDAN, which will give a huge boost to the count of airports operational in the country, in addition to the operationalisation of routes and airports under RCS-UDAN.

Beyond this, the inauguration will propel Uttar Pradesh to have 13 operational airports, the highest for any state in the country. Uttar Pradesh is also the most populous state in India but has lagged airport infrastructure for many years, largely due to the lower GDP as compared to other states. Over the last decade, the state has seen a turnaround in infrastructure and airports have not been left behind with expansion of existing terminals, operationalisation of new ones like the one at Ayodhya and building civil enclaves at defence airfields like the one at Bareilly.


Tourist  spots

Most of these places are of tourist importance while some have commercial importance. Shravasti, for example, is the place where Gautam Buddha lives the most after enlightenment. Archaeological excavations of the Sravasti site have unearthed numerous artworks and monuments related to Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. The closest airport today is Ayodhya which is over a 100 kilometres away and before Ayodhya became operational, Lucknow was the closest airport which is a distance of over three hours by road.

Chitrakoot is a major cultural and religious centre with Chitrakoot dham being located in Uttar Pradesh and the town of Chitrakoot in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh. This is the place where lord Rama spent his 11 years in exile.

Moradabad is one of the most populous districts and is known for its metalcraft. The city is closer to national capital Delhi than to state capital Lucknow. The city is known for Brass and a flight connection will help traders the most. Azamgarh – almost equidistant from Varanasi and Gorakhpur, while Aligarh would have access to Jewar very soon, yet the airstrip will help link it to the state capital – which has its importance in terms of administrative matters.


Gujarat will soon get 10 airports

Currently, Gujarat leads the count of operational airports with 10 airports seeing scheduled commercial service. Mundra is likely to join the rank soon. This is followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra which have nine airports each being operational.

Maharashtra has the biggest airport in Mumbai. It will have airports at Nanded and Jalgaon soon. but it would not cross the operational count of airports in Uttar Pradesh – which will see Noida International Airport at Jewar being operationalized later this year.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at