Jharsuguda Airport to be made operational by October for UDAN

State Govt to provide the security and fire service personnel
Chief Secretary directed to expedite development of other Airstrips

Bhubaneswar: September 05: Jharsuguda airport will be made operational for regional connectivity services (RCS) under UDAN scheme by October, 2017. This was decided in State Level Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in secretariat conference hall today wherein Special Secretary General Administration and Civil Aviation Ashok Kumar Meena outlined the issues for discussion. Chief Secretary Padhi advised the Director General of Police Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, present in the meeting to depute officers for airport security and fire service training. Target was set to develop Jharsuguda air strip to a full phased air port by April, 2018 following the MOU signed with AAI earlier. Chief Secretary also directed to expedite the work of the development of the airstrips at Jeypore and Utkela and make those UDAN flight ready within 5 months.
Discussions in the meeting showed that 5 airstrips of Odisha were selected for UDAN scheme. These were Bhubaneswar airport, airstrips at Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Utkela ( Kalahandi) and Jeypore ( Koraput). From among these, Biju Pattanaik International Air Port, Bhubaneswar would serve as mentor airport. From among other four, Jharsuguda airport would be developed under joint aegis of AAI and Govt of Odisha. Both Govt of Odisha and AAI have requested the authorities of Rourkela Steel Plant make Rourkela air strip ready for UDAN. The other airstrips at Jeypore and Utkela would be developed with funding from both the Govt of Odisha and Air Port Authority of India.
It may be pertinent here to mention that Govt of Odisha is providing both the manpower and financial support to make the regional connectivity scheme viable during initial periods. State Govt has decided to reduce VAT from 5% to 1% and provide 20% of the Viable Gap Funding. State Govt will also provide land, security and fire services. Around 44 security personnel and 9 fire service personnel will be deployed in each airport. Apart from that State Govt would also provide the manpower for management of air port of Jeypore and Utkela. The electricity and water would also be provided at minimum rate.
The routes like Bhubaneswar to Utkela, Utklela to Raipur, Bhubaneswar to Jeypore, Bhubaneswar to Jharsuguda, Jharsuguda to Ranchi, and Bhubaneswar to Rourkela have been suggested for regional connectivity. State Govt have decided to provide these subsidies and financial assistance for regional air connectivity as a part of its Make in Odisha initiative. It is expected that such subsidies and financial assistance will keep the ticket cost at affordable level. Sources say, the average price of a ticket to be paid by the passengers for these flights would be around two thousand and five hundred.
Additional Chief Secretary Home Asit Kumar Tripathy, Director General of Police Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, Principal Secretary Finance Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Special Secretary General Administration Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management Dr Chandra Sekhar Kumar along with senior officers from Ministry of Civil Aviation, Departments of Finance, Revenue & Disaster Management, Regional Connectivity Air Line Operators, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd participated in discussions.