The Chief Minister discussed with the AAI and Transport department officials over measures to speed up intervention to make the airport operational.
“The objective is to make Baljek Airport operationalises and there is a process of handing over the airport to the AAI,” the Chief Minister said.
The advisor to the Chief Minister, Thomas A. Sangma, was also present during the visit.
“We hope that chopper service will be operationalized and extension of runway will follow to allow more aircraft to land in future,” he added.
AAI regional executive director Sanjeev Jindal said Garo Hills has a lot of potential in terms of agriculture and tourism.
“If the airport is given to us, we will take over and work out how we can first develop for chopper service, and then for Dornier or may be ATR aircraft under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS),” Jindal said.
The defunct Baljek Airport is about 33 km from Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills district and 310 km from Shillong.
Inaugurated in October 2008, the Baljek Airport was designed to handle 20-seater aircraft.
The airport currently does not have scheduled commercial air service.
The AAI plans to extend its 3,300-feet runway by another 1,200 feet.
An additional land of 58 acres has been acquired for expansion of the airport.