Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Odisha government has urged the Centre to make the Rourkela Airport operational before the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup-2023.

Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra has written a letter to Union Steel Secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh in this regard on Saturday. 

In the letter, Mohapatra has requested the Centre to ask the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to execute the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and make the airport operational by October.

Mahapatra has sought the personal intervention of Singh to look into the matter and request SAIL to execute the MOU with AAI in order to make the Rourkela Airport ready for the upcoming Hockey World Cup.

“I would like to inform you that, the upcoming FIH Hockey Men's World Cup-2023 is to be co-hosted by both Bhubaneswar and Rourkela City. It is scheduled to be held during January 2023 and State Government is leaving no stone unturned to make this mega event successful,” the letter read. 

“The Rourkela Airport of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is being developed by Airports Authority India (AAI) for civil operations under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN. It was already licensed for 2B category Airport but due to operational issue, it was decided to upgrade into 2C category for which various works are being taken up by AAI and is scheduled to be completed by end of October 2022. In this respect,  MoU was signed on 23rd April 2018 between SAIL & MI for the operation & management of flight connectivity under the UDAN Scheme which is not in force. I would like to inform that, AAI has already submitted a draft MoU to SAIL vide their Letter No. AAI/RCS/SAIL-MoU/2022/91-100 dt. 21.06.2022,” the letter further read. 

“It is a matter of fact that, the Rourkela Airport is the key infrastructure which will play a major role in transportation during the upcoming Hockey World Cup, and the support from SAIL is highly anticipated to make it operational,” it added.