In a significant development, the flight service from Odisha capital Bhubaneswar to steel city Rourkela will begin from January 2018.
With the delay in infrastructure development and modification of Rourkela airport, the commercial flight services to the city under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) ‘UDAAN’ is likely to be deferred till January next year.
Once the project is completed, the city will initially be connected to Bhubaneswar and Kolkata by the aerial route. Rourkela BJP MLA and former Union Minister Dilip Ray on Monday inspected the development works at the airport of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) of SAIL.
Quoting the Union Civil Aviation Minister and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, Ray said he hoped that Rourkela will get a full-fledged airport by January next year, after the execution of MoU with the RSP.
Director of Jharsuguda airport Manoj Kumar, who has the additional charge of Rourkela airport, said the upgradation work would be completed by December 15. “The Rourkela airport will be upgraded further in the later phases,” he said, while refusing to indicate any tentative schedule for launching of the commercial flights.
AAI sources said RSP would also need to replace its private licence with the commercial one from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. Initially, the AAI and the RSP will jointly run the Rourkela airport, sources added. Meanwhile, the RSP authorities claimed that the project will ease travel and boost city’s economy.
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