The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the declaration of Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport.

PM Modi, while sharing the information tweeted, “Great news for Uttar Pradesh, tourism and those inspired by the noble thoughts of Lord Buddha! Kushinagar Airport will now be an international airport. Connectivity will improve significantly. More tourists and pilgrims will also mean better opportunities for local population.”

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar while addressing the media after a cabinet meeting stated that the Kushinagar Airport will offer improved connectivity to the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

“You know that Kushinagar is the mid-point of the Buddhist circuit. It has pilgrimage sites in Lumbini, Shravasti, Kapilvastu nearby it. A little farther, it has sites in Sarnath and Gaya,” said Prakash Javadekar.

“However, there was no airport there of international standards. Kushinagar airport is being declared as an international airport. A 3-km-long runway strip has already been made. Now, even a big aircraft of Airbus can land at the airport,” he added.

After Noida, Kushinagar is the second place that would be having an International Airport in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Kushinagar Airport is situated in Kushinagar, Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh. It is located 52 km east of Gorakhpur Airport. The airstrip covers an area of about 97 acres.

The airport lies near an important Buddhist pilgrimage site where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Parinirvana after his death.

As per the government, around 200-300 devotees from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Burma, etc. visit the place on any given day and offer their prayers at Kushinagar.