Once this airport begins operating international flights, it will become third functional international facility in the state.
“Kushinagar to become 3rd licensed international airport of UP. Will boost tourism in the region and facilitate travel on Buddhist circuit by providing direct aviation connectivity to the city where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana,” Puri said in a tweet on Tuesday.
At present, two international airports — Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi — are operational in the state while another one is coming up at Jewar in Gautambudh Nagar.
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, the government had said at the time of granting the international status to the airport.
The Central government had also said that around 200-300 devotees from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Myanmar, among others, come to offer prayers at Kushinagar on any given day.