Mrunal Manmay Dash

Making a major announcement on Sunday, Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabh Behera said, air services from Puri will commence in 2022-23.

Speaking to the media, Behera informed that if everything goes as planned, we will very likely see air services from Puri in 2022-23. 
"We are already in the process of identifying land for the airport, it will be finished soon," Behera said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the proposal of a futuristic airport in the pilgrim town of Puri was envisioned in January 2021, when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Miniter Narendra Modi proposing the same. 

Apart from constructing a new airport at Puri, Odisha has plans to upgrade existing airstrips as well. "Odisha has plans to upgrade airstrips in all the undivided districts of the State. We are also assisting the Centre to commence flight services from Rourkela, Utkela and Jeypore," Behera added.

“COVID posed a major hurdle in executing the plans. As the Jharsuguda airport which was made operational last year, work on other airstrips would also have started if COVID had not hit us,” said Behera.