Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the airport at renowned temple town Shirdi in the state's Ahmednagar district had received night landing licence from regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Thursday.
The move is set to enhance the connectivity to the town, where a world famous temple dedicated to Sai Baba is located, and which is already part of the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway and also has a Vande Bharat service from Mumbai that was inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Hat-trick of Good news for SaiBhakts and for Maharashtra! After Samruddhi Mahamarg, Vande Bharat Express, now our Shirdi airport gets the 'Night landing' licence from DGCA this morning!," Fadnavis said in a social media post.
"Airlines are expected to start night flights as early as March/April 2023 onwards. Currently 13 flights operate from this airport. More flights are expected to be added now," the deputy CM added.
Fadnavis said he was fortunate to be at the helm (as state chief minister) when the greenfield airport started in 2017 and was joyous on the facility receiving the night landing licence when the state government is being led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
He thanked PM Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia for "expediting my request (for the night landing licence approval)", which will make the "Shirdi Yatra easier and faster for Sai devotees as well as boost the economic growth in and around this region".