Kushinagar Airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana in Uttar Pradesh.
The airport has been developed with an aim to boost tourism on the Buddhist circuit as Gautam Buddha attained MahaParinirvana at Kushinagar, after his death. It is the final resting place of Gautam Buddha.
"Kushinagar International Airport is the result of decades of aspiration and effort. My happiness is two-fold today. This is the moment of fulfilling a commitment towards the people of Purvanchal," said PM Modi in his address.
The Inauguration of Kushinagar airport was marked by landing of the inaugural flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka. It carried the delegation of around 100 buddhist monks and dignitaries.
He also described the Kushinagar Airport as not just a way of air connectivity but also as a means of creating employments for the local youth and a medium of business linkage. He also said that development of Kushinagar is the priority of both state and central government and special attention will be given to places which have linkage to Gautam Buddha and developing facilities for the devotees.
UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandiben Patel and Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia were also present at the inauguration ceremony. The delegation of 130 members led by Sri Lankan Cabinet minister Namal Rajapaksa also graced the occasion.
Anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka : Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya, Malwatta, were also part of the delegation.
The Prime Minister will also participate in the function marking Abhidhamma Day at Mahaparinirvana Temple. Thereafter, the PM will attend a public event to lay foundation stone of and inaugurate various development projects in Kushinagar.