The Odisha government on Friday said that the much-awaited flight operations from two more airstrips in the State will begin soon. Odisha Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said that the final decision on the roll out of flights from Jeypore in Koraput and Rangeilunda airstrips in Ganjam district has been taken by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Besides the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN programme of Government of India, the Odisha government has finalized to begin flight operations from the two airports under the non-UDAN initiative in the initial phase. Small flights will operate on routes like Jeypore-Vizag, Rangeilunda-Vizag under the non-UDAN scheme, the Transport Minister told OTV.
Preparations for introducing the new flight operations executed by the State government have reached the final stages, he added.
At present, there are only two airports- the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar and the Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda- which are operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Earlier last month, the Odisha government had informed about a proposal for an international airport under the UDAN scheme in Puri. The planned international airport in the pilgrim town could be ready for operations by 2022-23.
It may be noted the Odisha government has agreed to bear 20 percent cost in the operation of the airports under UDAN scheme.
On the commencement of flight services from Utkela and Rourkela airports, the State Transport Minister said that the issue has been hanging fire due to a delay in authorization by DRDO.