Even as the State Government is pushing for international status to the Biju Patnaik Airport and extension of air connectivity to different regions within Odisha, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry has urged it to capitalise on opportunities in niche aviation segments like the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
With the civil aviation boom manifesting itself across the country, MRO is poised to be a key driver of growth. The sector has already acquired a market size of $750 million. Projections are that the MRO market would cross the one billion dollar mark in next three years, Secretary, Union Civil Aviation Ministry KN Shrivastava said here at a conclave on ‘Development of Civil Aviation in Odisha’ on Tuesday.
The conclave organised by IPICOL, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) was attended by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“The Ministry is soon going to have a meeting with the MRO industry. We would ask them to get in touch with the Odisha Government to explore the potential and opportunities for developing a hub in the State,” Shrivastava said.
The issue assumes significance as more airports in the State are on the anvil. Jharsuguda airport could see the light of the day within two years while plans are on to develop Jeypore airstrip into a full fledged airport.
“The blue print is ready for Jharsuguda and Jeypore airports. There are enough resources with the Ministry and AAI to develop them within the shortest possible time,” Shrivastava said.
There are 12 airstrips and 16 helipads across the State. The State Government has pressed for development of a few airstrips into airports capable of handling mid-sized aircraft. Besides the immediate proposals for development of Jharsuguda, Jeypore and Gopalpur, the Government has also pressed for establishment of greenfield airports at Rayagada, Paradip, Kalinga Nagar, Dhenkanal and Dhamra, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Arun Mishra said, adding the DGCA will forge a partnership with the Government to steer the civil aviation boom ahead.
Senior Government officials,representatives from the aviation ministry, airlines and allied sectors attended the conclave.