The state of Arunachal Pradesh has since been acknowledged as the land indispensable for air-transport facility right from the pre and post independence period and many helipads and Landing Grounds (LGs), Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) were built for defence as well as civil purposes. There are about 120 helipads and 13 LG/ALGs in the state. Earlier in 80s small fixed wing aircrafts (Vayudut) also operated in some of such airstrips like Ziro, Along, Pasighat, Tezu etc. for civil passenger services. After suspension of Vayudut services, the airstrips has been lying unused for fixed wing operation except occasionally AN-32 aircraft of IAF is operated in few locations, although the helipads are still being utilized for defence and civil supplies (including essential ration commodities etc.) in the remote areas.
Helicopter operation for passenger services again started in the State w.e.f. 9th December, 1995 under Helicopter Subsidy Scheme of the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA), Government of India, by the Directorate of Supply & Transport(DST) as Ex-Officio Director of Civil Aviation with Secretary (Transport & Civil Aviation), Government of Arunachal Pradesh as Departmental Head. However, separate Directorate of Civil Aviation started functioning from April, 2017 with the merger of erstwhile DST with Directorate of Food & Civil Supplies, with Secretary (Civil Aviation) as Head of the Civil Aviation Department. Presently the Department is operating 3 (three) helicopters under MHA’s Helicopter Subsidy Scheme with the following flying hour ceiling limit:-
- One Medium (10-13 seater) helicopter with annual flying hour ceiling limit of 1300 hrs, connecting various remote locations with Mohanbari and the State Capital.
- One MI-172 (26 seater) helicopter with annual flying hour ceiling limit of 960 hrs, connecting various remote locations with Mohanbari and the State Capital.
- 2nd MI-172 (26 seater) helicopter with annual flying hour ceiling limit of 1200 hrs, connecting Tawang, Guwahati and the State Capital.
Under UDAN – 2 Bid, 2 airports – Pasighat and Tezu and 6 helipads – Naharlagun, Daporijo, Ziro, Tuting, Yingkiong, and Walong have been finalized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India. The operation under these UDAN – 2 Scheme is expected to start soon which will enhance the connectivity in the State and integrate us with the mainland.
Alliance air is operating an ATR 42 civil flight thrice a week on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday from Kolkata to Pasighat via Guwahati w.e.f 21/5/2018. The Civil Terminal for movement and handling of passengers at Pasighat was constructed by the Department and manned by officers of the state government.