Odisha: After Jharsuguda, three more airports in the offing

Bhubaneswar: After the much-awaited Jharsuguda airport, scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sept 22, three more airports are in the offing in Odisha.

The infrastructures of three airports are being developed in Jeypore, Rourkela and Utkela at investment of over Rs 100 crore. These airports are expected to be operational by 2019, informed Airports Authority of India (AAI) member (planning) AK Pathak.

While the airport in Rourkela is likely to be functional by October-November this year, the airports in Jeypore and Utkela are expected for operations by March 2019, he said.

Meanwhile, Odisha Assembly has recently passed a resolution unanimously to name the newly-constructed Jharsuguda airport after noted freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai.

About inauguration, the Airports Authority of India on Twitter wrote, “The #AAI is proud to announce that @PMOIndia Shri @narendramodi will inaugurate the Jharsuguda Airport in the august presence of HMCA Shri @sureshpprabhu, Prof. Ganeshi Lal (Governor) & Shri @Naveen_Odisha (@CMO_Odisha) on September 22, 2018.”

The Jharsuguda airport has been built over an area of 909.22 acre at a cost of Rs 175 crore of which Odisha government has contributed Rs 50 crore.

The airport has 1028 acre land, which is equal to Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar. The airport can be developed for management of 20 million air passengers in future, said Pathak.

The bigger planes like Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 can land at the Jharsuguda airport, he added.

Recently, first trial landing of a Boeing flight of Indian Air Force (IAF) on the Jharsuguda airport runway was successful.

IAF’s Boeing-737 flight made first landing on September 11 ahead of its formal inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Notably, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted a 4-C category license to the Jharsuguda airport allowing it for operation of bigger planes.

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