Ahead of Chhath Puja, the Darbhanga airport in north Bihar has started flight operations on Sunday. This comes as a relief for people of the Mithila region who had to travel for hours to reach Patna just to catch a flight. Also Read - Check Latest COVID-19 Travel Guidelines For Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab And West Bengal

As soon as the first flight landed at the airport from Bengaluru, it was given the customary water salute, while the passengers were greeted with ‘Mithila Paags’ (a traditional cap) and garlands. Also Read - Arrangements in Final Phase to Make Sputnik V Vaccine Available in 9 More Cities Across India: Dr Reddy’s

The plane then took off for Delhi with 180 passengers, including Darbhanga’s BJP MP Gopaljee Thakur, Darbhanga Town legislator Sanjay Saraogi and MLC Dilip Chaudhary. Also Read - Thailand to Lift Travel Restrictions For Visitors Soon After a Year to Revive Sagging Economy

Darbhanga will be connected by flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, officials said. People of the region will save at least four to five hours travelling to and from Patna with the airport beginning operations, the officials added.

“It is really a good beginning. Hope that infrastructure and other facilities at the airport will improve and flight service to other cities will also start,” said a passenger who arrived from Bengaluru.

A person, who had come to see off a relative at the airport, said that with the airport starting operations, people will not have to miss flights due to traffic jams while travelling to Patna. “There were times when we used to get stuck at the Gandhi Setu due to traffic jams. Also, now we won’t have to travel to Patna to receive someone or to see them off,” he said.

Another man who was at the airport to receive his daughter said, “Today, I will be receiving her in my hometown.”
The Airports Authority of India has developed the airport as a civil enclave, which is part of an Indian Air Force base allocated for civil aviation operations, at Kevti, around six km from the Darbhanga town.

(With inputs from PTI)