JHARSUGUDA: Work on the second airport of the State at Jharsuguda is set to gain momentum as the Airport Authority of India (AAI) will float tender for first phase of the project next month.
Located about five kms from Jharsuguda town along State Highway-10, the airport is expected to boost industrialisation in western part of the State.
As per an MoU signed with the AAI, the State Government will hand over 296.5 acres of land in two phases for development of the airport spread over 909.22 acres. Currently, only the air traffic control tower is functional and chartered aircraft are being operated.
Reports said the State Government has already handed over 106 acres of land out of 118.75 acres scheduled in the first phase.
Since rest of the land is forest land and needs to be de-alienated, it is pending clearance with Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Sources in AAI said the first batch of tender for construction of runway, terminal building, control tower and fire services building will be floated in March for which work is going on. This apart, hangar, approach light, car parking area, isolation bay, link taxi way and related structures will be developed in the first phase.
Earlier, AAI had completed topographical survey, soil testing and obstacle survey and submitted its report to the authorities concerned.
Discussion is also underway with the State Government on possible obstacles on the periphery of the airport which would hamper takeoff and landing of aircraft and the need to relocate the people living there for safety reasons.
As per a 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.
As per the MoU, AAI will develop the airport in two years from the date when physical possession of the land for the first phase is handed over.
The airfield was used during World War II by Allied Forces to counter Japanese advances and since then, it has been lying abandoned.