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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Jeypore: Commercial air service is scheduled to start from the Jeypore airstrip in Koraput district in the next six to eight months.

The announcement was made on Friday after an inspection of the airstrip by the Commerce & Transport Secretary Madhusudan Padhi which was followed by a review meeting. Jeypore MLA and other officials of the State Government were also present at the meeting.

“Efforts will be made to include the airstrip in the Udaan Scheme in March and flight services will commence in next six to eight months. All the required steps in this regard have already been taken,” said Padhi.

On the other hand, while responding to a question of Koraput MP Saptagiri Ulaka on the same issue, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that land acquisition is the main reason behind the delay in Jeypore Airport works.

After Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda, the Jeypore airstrip will be the third to get the civil aviation airport tag in the State.

The airstrip built in the 1960s was used during the visit of ministers or VIPs to the town. In the 1980s Vayudoot operated flights from the airstrip. But the service was stopped after a flight crashed without injuring anyone.

According to sources, the tourism industry of undivided Koraput will get a shot in the arm if flight services resume at the airstrip.

With the proposed resumption of air services, there is now hope for launching regular services from Jeypore to Bhubaneswar.

There were plans to launch flights from Jeypore airstrip on UDAN routes from September 2017. But the plan got delayed due to infrastructural problems.

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