Unclear skies ahead of Jeypore airstrip

Koraput: Uncertainty looms over regular flight operations at the Jeypore airstrip in Koraput as the district administration has not received any response on their application for license from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The airstrip was recently renovated by the district administration. While the runway, air traffic control and terminal building have been renovated, the finishing work of the airstrip is underway. The administration claims that the work will be completed within a week.

Naveen Chandra Dora, Superintending Engineer, Roads and Buildings Division, Jeypore said “Earlier Jeypore had an airstrip which was included under the Udan scheme for up-gradation into an airport. All the necessary works have been completed and application for licence has been sent to the DGCA.”

However, after all the renovation, there seems to be delay in final approval from DGCA to regularise flight operations at the airstrip.

The Jeypore airstrip has been prepared for the landing of 18-seater aircrafts. However, further expansion of the airstrip will be necessary for the landing of larger airplanes, sources said.

On the other hand, there is disappointment among the locals over delay in launch of flight operations from the airstrip.

“The Odisha government should consult with the Centre for expansion of the airstrip for 60 or 50-seater aircrafts. The expansion of the airstrip will aid the landing of large airplanes,” said Rajendra Gaud, a resident of Jeypore.

Another resident of Jeypore, Nisan Patnaik said “Both the State and the Central governments are blaming each other which is resulting in delay in commencement of flight operations. The sooner the Udan scheme is implemented, the better it is for the local people.”