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AAI urges Odisha govt to expedite nod for international flights from city airport

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, June 14:

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has urged the Odisha government to urgently take up with the Centre the issue of necessary clearance for airlines which have evinced interest in introducing international flights from and to the Biju Patnaik airport here.

Biju Patnaik International Airport

Even months after the Centre granted international status to the airport, international flights are yet to take off from the premier airport in the state in the absence of central clearance.

AAI regional executive director S Bhaduri (Eastern region) has urged the state government to expedite the process during a meeting with chief secretary J K Mohapatra on Friday.

Officials had a detailed discussion on the Centre’s delay in clearing airlines’ proposal for commencing global operations from the city airport.

The eastern region controls 17 airports (including non-operational) and five aeronautical communications stations.

It is to be mentioned that several flight operators have shown interest in operating from the state considering the low fuel cost and parking fee with  FlyDubai even submitting its proposed flight schedule to the Centre.

According to sources, the officials also discussed for development of the Jharsuguda airport.

Bhaduri has requested the government to expedite the process of signing an MoU with the AAI for the development of the Jharsuguda airport, which is all set to become the second largest airport in the state.

An estimated Rs 175 crore would be spent on the development of the airport out of which the Odisha government would spend Rs 50 crores while the rest of the funds would be borne by the AAI.

Land measuring 119 acres will be provided by the state to the AAI while the latter will earmark the land of the same measurement to the state near Jharsuguda airport.