BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to spend `30 crore for development of airstrips in the State.
A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat here on Friday. In the first phase, airstrips at Jeypore in Koraput district and Jamadarpali near Sambalpur will be developed.
It was decided that running light system and advance air traffic advisory system will be developed in the airstrips. While the State Government has already requested the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to provide technical and financial support to make Jeypore airstrip a full-fledged airport, the Koraput district administration has identified 445.52 acres of land for expansion of runway and development of other infrastructure.
The State Government has asked Koraput Collector to finalise the financial implication for land acquisition. The airstrip was constructed on 60 acres of land in 1962. Official sources said development of the airstrip including its expansion, will facilitate commercial operations.
The Government had signed an agreement with the AAI in July, 2014 to develop the Jharsuguda airstrip in western Odisha into a full-fledged airport with an investment of ` 210 crore.
Odisha has 19 airstrips and 16 helipads. Barring the Birasal airstrip in Dhenkanal district, all other airstrips have runways that can take small aircraft.
Chief Secretary GC Pati, Development Commissioner UN Behera, Additional Chief Secretary (finance) R Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister AP Padhi and senior officials attended the meeting.