Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 29:
There will be a trial run of international flights to Odisha’s Biju Patnaik International Airport on July 8, two days before actual international operations take off.
Air India officials today visited the airport to do a reality check of the facilities and assess the preparedness of the airport for international flight operations. They also held a meeting with airport authorities.
“We have been preparing for this day since the past 3-4 years. All equipment are in place. We had made a few trial runs earlier as well. Given that international operation had not begun then, we had to notify all concerned agencies for another trial run. Our terminal is ready for the trial run. I expect other airlines to take a call on starting their international operations once Air India starts flying,” said Director of Biju Patnaik International Airport Sharad Kumar.
The airport got its international airport certification on October 30, 2013 and Terminal-2 of the airport was specially equipped for international operations.
“It is a matter of great pride for us and the people of Odisha. We have been trying for so many years for this to happen. It is a gift from the Government of India before Nabakalebara that we are finally going to start international operation on July 10. This decision is going to make things easier for passengers as they won’t have to change flights anymore. Also, the customs, immigration, baggage etc will be taken care of from here so that they can fly abroad comfortably,” Kumar added.
It may be noted that state-owned international carrier Air India (AI) has agreed to start international flight operations from Odisha’s capital city to Dubai before July 10, apparently to facilitate tourist arrivals for the Rath Yatra on July 18 in this Nabakalebara year.