A picture of the recently built Donyi Polo Airport in Arunachal Pradesh is being widely shared on the internet with a claim that the airport is the first one in the state.
How viral is the claim?: The post has gone extremely viral on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
(Archives of similar claims can be found here, here, and here.)
The truth: Donyi Polo Airport is Arunachal Pradesh's fourth airport after Tezu, Pasighat, and Zero. However, as per the information available on the website of the Airport Authority of India, Zero is currently non-operational, which makes Donyi Polo the third operational and fourth commercial airport in the state.
How did we found out?: We performed a keyword search and this led us to a report published on NDTV, which mentioned that Donyi Polo Airport would be the first in Itanagar and the third operational one in the state.
The other two airports – Tezu and Pasighat – were far away from the capital, and hence this new airport will ease the connectivity.
However, Donyi Polo is the first greenfield airport to be inaugurated in the state.
What is a greenfield airport?: The term greenfield is used for an airport which is made from scratch on an undeveloped land.
Other sources?: According to a press release from the Prime Minister's office the Donyi Polo will be the 'fourth operational airport' in Arunachal Pradesh and this will take the airport count in the northeast region to 16.
But: According to the information available on the website of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Arunachal Pradesh has two operational airports namely Tezu and Pasighat, and one non-operational airport called Zero.
The information was last updated on 23 June 2020.
A genuine confusion?: Donyi Polo Airport is the state's first 'greenfield airport' and also the first one to be built in its capital city of Itanagar. This might have led people to believe that this is the first airport built in Arunachal Pradesh, which is not true.
Conclusion: Donyi Polo Airport is the first greenfield airport in the state, but not the first commercial one.
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