Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Good news for regional flyers! The Odisha government is all set to launch flight services to Jharsuguda by end of November under the ambitious UDAN scheme.

Informing this after a review meeting, Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi said the air connectivity to other cities like Rourkela, Jeypore and Utkela (Kalahandi) may take more time.

"We will be ready to start the operation to Jharsuguda by November. We are yet to get confirmation from the private operators. As soon as they get ready, the services will be launched. For Rourkela, we are sorting out issues with Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) which had initially agreed to manage the airport. But, now it is expressing disinterest. Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working to get the air strip ready. So, we expect that the whole process will take two-three months more,” Padhi said.

However, the air connectivity to Utkela of Kalahandi and Jeypore may take more time. Both will be ready by March, Padhi added.

Sources said, the private and State based operator Air Odisha is likely to launch its flight services under the UDAN scheme from November. In the first phase it will operate from Ahmedabad to Bhavanagar, Jamnagar, Diu and Mundra, said sources.

Earlier in March, Air Odisha had bagged approval to operate on 50 routes under the central-government’s subsidised Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme. However, it is awaiting the Scheduled Commuter Operator (SCO) permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which will qualify it to launch regional services.

“We are ready to launch services from November end. To begin with, we will launch flights from Ahmedabad to Bhavnagr, Jamnagar, Diu and Mundra. However, we have not yet obtained the SCO permit, which is still being processed by the DGCA,” said an official source.

In the second phase, Air Odisha plans to roll out services from Delhi and then from Chenani in the subsequent month, the source said.