BHUBANESWAR: Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Airport in Jharsuguda will start flight services to two more destinations under Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the new flights from Jharsuguda airport will fly to Bengaluru and Kolkata. The airport, which became fully operational from September last year, is currently operating with five flights.
“Two more flights from Jharsuguda to Bengaluru and Jharsuguda to Kolkata will be introduced soon,” Tripathy said after a State-level Monitoring Committee meeting. Reviewing the progress of development of other airports under UDAN scheme, Tripathy said the airstrip at Rourkela will be widened to accommodate bigger flights which would benefit the people. Presently, 5,900 feet runway has been made ready for operation of 19 seater flights.
“Routes like Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Raipur have been decided for the airport and Airport Authority of India (AAI) has also floated the bid inviting offer from airlines operators,” he added. Construction of terminal building, runway and other associated infrastructure of the airport at Jeypore in Koraput district is progressing as per the master plan at an estimated cost of Rs 55 crore. In the case of Utkela airstrip in Kalahandi district, social impact study has already been completed and submitted to Government. No major issues of displacement and rehabilitation are involved in it and the process for land acquisition has started, Tripathy added.
Director, Civil Aviation, Himansu Bhusan Panda said as of now Jharsuguda has been connected with Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raipur. Two more flights to Bengaluru and Kolkata would come up shortly from Jharsuguda. Biju Pattanaik International Air Port, Bhubaneswar is the mentor airport for the new airstrips developed under UDAN scheme.
Air routes like Bhubaneswar to Utkela, Utklela to Raipur, Bhubaneswar to Jeypore, Bhubaneswar to Jharsuguda, Jharsuguda to Ranchi and Bhubaneswar to Rourkela have been selected for regional connectivity. The State Government is supporting the regional air connectivity scheme as a part of its ‘Make in Odisha’ initiative. The Collectors of districts concerned updated Tripathy and Panda about the developments at the ground level through video conferencing.