JHARSUGUDA: The second major airport of Odisha at Jharsuguda is expected to open up new avenues for economic development in the mining belt of the State. Former Jharsuguda Chartered Accountant Association member Mukesh Shah said the airport will not only benefit the residents of the town but also those from the adjacent mining district of Sundargarh. “As per history, the airport was initially set up by the Royal Airport during the British rule in 1942 and was used by war planes during World War II. Similarly, during the Indo-Pak war in 1971, the same facility was used by war planes”, he said.
If everything goes as per plan, then flight operations from the airport will start from the last week of July. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate it even as the process is underway to secure category 4C licence for the airport to make it eligible for landing and take-off of A-320 Airbus aircraft. Sources said the airport was accorded category-B licence in May qualifying it for flight operations. Subsequently, efforts have been made to equip it with category 4C licence for landing and take-off of bigger aircraft.
Recently, a team of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), led by Mumbai-based Deputy Director S Saxena and a team of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had conducted separate inspections of the ancillary facilities and security measures at the airport. Sources said the airport has been equipped with surface lighting and ancillary instruments making the runway capable of ensuring safe landing of planes even during inclement weather and night hours.
“After getting 4C licence from DGCA, A- 320 Airbus-type aircraft can land and take off from this airport”, said Jharsuguda Airport Director S K Chouhan, adding that the airport is equipped with an ATS tower, a runway with required length and electrification, emergency health and other associated facilities.
As per the MoU signed between the Central and the State governments, the security arrangements will be looked after by Airports Authority of India (AAI). Sources said spread over a sprawling 909 .22 acres, Jharsuguda airport is ready to become a reality after financial contribution of Rs 175 crore by the Centre and Rs 50 crore by the State Government. Besides, an additional 275.55-acre land has been acquired for the airport.
Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das said the economy of the coal-belt and industrial Jharsuguda district has been in doldrums for long and regular flight operation entails huge prospects to open up new economic vistas for the region.
Flight operations likely from July last week
If everything goes as per plan, then flight operations from the airport will start from the last week of July
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate it
The security arrangements will be looked after by Airports Authority of India