Air Odisha Aviation Pvt Ltd has firmed up plans to start commercial flights between Bhubaneswar and important industrial hubs of the State and select tourist draws in eastern India.
The company has proposed to start the operation during the first week of October if everything goes as per the schedule, said Air Odisha sources.
‘’The company has already obtained the no objection certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for running non-scheduled air operations,’’ the sources said.
The company has sought waiver of ground charges for use of airstrips managed by the Government.
It has also suggested that aviation turbine fuel (ATF), used by aircraft, needs to be tax free to ensure that air travel is economically viable for tourists.
“It has been decided to start seven days operation from Bhubaneswar to some select regions of the State.
Connectivity to Kolkata will be available for three days and connectivity to Raipur and Nuapada for same number of days,” the company sources said.
Connectivity to Kolkata will be via Jharsuguda and Rourkela.
Capacity enhancement will be based on demand.
The company has also proposed to provide air link to Jeypore, Vizag and Barbil in its second phase of operation.
Making a review of the progress at a high- level meeting here on Friday, Chief Secretary BK Patnaik advised Air Odisha to start first phase operation from Bhubaneswar to Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Angul, Raipur and Nuapada.
Flying time estimate shows that total flying time from Bhubaneswar to Jharsuguda will be an hour with additional 15 minutes on ground.
Similarly, flying time from Bhubaneswar to Rourkela will be an hour and from Bhubaneswar to Angul 30 minutes with additional 15 minutes on ground for upward flights. For downward flights from these places to Bhubaneswar, the time on ground will be 30 minutes.
The company plans to start its operations with a nine-seater. Air Odisha is also looking beyond the State.
It is eyeing destinations like Vizag, Kolkata, Ranchi, Raipur, Jamshedpur, Tirupati and Shirdi after procuring a 19- seater aircraft.
Initially, it will offer connectivity between the City and places of industrial activities like Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Jeypore.
Mine-rich locations like Barbil and Angul also figure on the company’s radar and operations to these places will be introduced depending on viability, the sources said.
Flight operations to Shirdi and Tirupati are expected to begin by December, said a company official.
The non-scheduled air transport services are expected to boost industrial, tourism and business activities in the State.