Bhubaneswar, July 30
In response to the proposal of the Odisha government to the Centre for upgradation of airstrips in the state, a four-member team of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is scheduled to come on a three-day visit to the state starting August 6.
The team led by PK Mohapatra, joint general manager (Planning) will visit Gopalpur, Keonjhar and Baripada airstrips to map the existing infrastructure for development of air connectivity in these places.
The general administration (GA) department has asked the sub-collectors and tahasildars of the concerned areas to be present during field inspections with Survey of India and revenue maps. The executive engineer (roads & buildings division) of the concerned area will act as the nodal officer and furnish all technical details to the visiting AAI team, official sources said.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had urged the Civil Aviation ministry to take up feasibility studies for developing existing state-owned airstrips at Gopalpur and Jeypore into full-fledged regional airports.
Besides the Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar, Odisha has 17 airstrips of which 12 are under the administrative control of the state government. Upgradation of these air strips would enable them to handle small aircraft suitable for air charter services and tourism purposes.