BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airport Authority of India (AAI) for development of Jharsuguda airport.
The MoU was signed by AAI vice-chairman Alok Sinha and Special Secretary (General Administration) Niten Chandra at the Secretariat in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Jharsuguda airport, which also belongs to the AAI, is the second airport in the State. Spread over an area of 909.220 acres, the airport is yet to be made operational. Only the air traffic control tower is functional and charted aircraft are being operated.
The Government will hand over 296.50 acres in two phases for upgradation of the airport. While 118.75 acres, including 51.81 acres of Government land, will be handed over in the first phase without any premium, 177.75 acres of land will be given in the second phase.
As per preliminary estimate of AAI, the project will cost around `280 crore. The Government will provide financial assistance of `75 crore to AAI for the project.
AAI will develop the airport in two years time from the date on which physical possession of the land for the first phase is handed over along with the State’s share of `75 crore for the project.
After development of the airport, A-320 type aircraft will operate initially to provide connectivity to North-Western Odisha.
The Chief Minister said the airport will have a great strategic significance as it is situated amidst a major industrial hub and mineral-bearing areas.