ROURKELA: IF everything goes on expected lines, then air connectivity to Rourkela may happen in a couple of months.While ready-to-use Rourkela airport of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) is undergoing modifications, two airline operators have been recently roped in through third round bidding under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN.
Sources said the 6,000 feet runway has been readied for landing of 40-70-seater aircraft. Similarly, additional civil works, including construction of perimeter road, re-carpeting of runway, fire brigade shed and parking area are underway.The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has posted an ATC officer to monitor the modification work as per the guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The AAI is expected to deploy personnel for communication and meteorological services.
RSP Executives’ Association (RSPEA) president and Steel Executives’ Federation of India (SEFI) general secretary Bimal Bisi, who has been following up the issue with the Civil Aviation Ministry, said they are hoping that commercial operation in Rourkela airport may begin by June end.
He said Alliance Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, has been finalised as bidder for Rourkela-Raipur route under UDAN scheme. Another airline operator, Star Air, bagged the bidding for Rourkela-Bhubaneswar route. He said no bidder evinced interest for Rourkela-Kolkata route. Bisi said commercial flight operation should start from Rourkela at the earliest. He said air connectivity would also give the much-needed push to the stagnant Information Technology and service sectors.
At an election rally, BJP star campaigner and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath too had said commercial flights would start from Rourkela soon. In January, the DGCA had replaced the private licence of Rourkela airport with commercial licence to pave the way for commercial use of the airport. Commercial flight of Vayudoot was stopped here in 1988.
Two airline operators recently roped in through third round bidding under RCS-UDAN
6,000 feet runway readied for landing of 40-70-seater aircraft
AAI has posted an ATC officer to monitor the modification work