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Odisha urges Centre to help start international flight operations from BPIA

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 17:

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Union Civil Aviation minister A Gajapathi Raju to take steps for early utilisation of facilities for international flight operations from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here.

Plane flight air travel“Considering the industrial, commercial and tourist importance of Odisha, a decision on this issue may be taken urgently,” said the Chief Minister in a letter to the Civil Aviation minister.

Patnaik said if felt necessary, an official level meeting of the Ministry officials and the officers of the state government along with the representatives of different carriers may be urgently conveyed to discuss the issue.

Even though the Centre has accorded international tag to the airport since October last year, no international flight is being operated from the airport.

The Chief Minister said the delay in international flight operation has not only adversely affected the economics of the Airport Authority of India, it has also undermined the legitimate expectations of the people of Odisha.

The state government has made arrangements for establishment of immigration, health and quarantine facilities at the new international terminal. The vat on ATF was also brought down from 20% to 5% with effect from December last year.

The state government has also written several letters to the Centre,enclosing copies of requests from international carriers interested to start flight operations from Bhubaneswar. But unfortunately, no decision has been taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on this important issue, rued the Odisha Chief Minister.