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Lakshadweep plans to develop airport on Minicoy Islands for military & civilian use

India is set to move forward with plans for a new airport on the Minicoy Islands in Lakshadweep, following a surge in tourist interest triggered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit. The proposed airfield aims to be versatile, accommodating both military and civilian aircraft operations.

Government sources disclosed that the envisioned dual-purpose airfield is designed to handle fighter jets, other military planes, and commercial flights. The proposal, initially presented and now revived, advocates for a joint-use purpose.

Strategically positioned, the Minicoy Islands’ airfield holds importance for India as it provides a strategic location for monitoring the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where incidents of piracy and other anti-social activities are increasing.

The idea of an airstrip in the Minicoy Islands originated from the Indian Coast Guard, and the current proposal suggests that the Indian Air Force will take the lead in managing operations from Minicoy.

Beyond enhancing defense capabilities, the Minicoy airport is expected to expand surveillance coverage in the Arabian Sea. The development is also seen as a potential boost to tourism in the region, aligning with the government’s planned initiatives.

Presently, the Union Territory has only one airstrip, located at Agatti, with limited capacity for narrow-body aircraft. The recent resurgence of proposals for a new airport and the expansion of existing facilities underscore the growing significance of the Minicoy Islands, particularly after Prime Minister Modi’s visit. During his trip, the Prime Minister announced various development projects and expressed support for unlocking the tourism potential of the region, further elevating its appeal.

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