Jharsuguda: Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Dubai has extended his best withes on the anniversary of the Veer Surendra Sai Airport here. The government has addressed the long felt need of this region, he said.
Stating that Non-Resident Odias in the UAE had actively lobbied for air connectivity to this airport by presenting a memorandum to the Consulate, he said the airports are harbingers of progress and expressed hope that this airport will accelerate the socio-economic development of the region.
He was speaking in response to an initiative of Global Odias for Odisha’s Development (GOOD), an expatriate group consisting of NRI professionals hailing from Odisha, to mobilise opinion for regular air connectivity to the Jharsuguda airport.
Nandakumar, Director, Marketing & Communications of Lulu Group International, Abu Dhabi, said they source their products from across the globe and now with the airport coming up, they might explore sourcing from this region. Nandakumar also was born and brought up in Rourkela and has fond memories of his life in Odisha.
Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Sambalpur said the airport has greatly benefited the institute. According to him, last year IIM Sambalpur was able to attract many industry professionals and was able to organise more than 20 events with good participation of professionals from across India.
Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Commercial Officer, Spicejet Airlines said Jharsuguda was one of the biggest findings of Spicejet under the UDAAN scheme which was launched under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She said Spicejet was planning to add flights to many more cities from this airport in the future.
According to Kishore Kumar Senapati, Airport Director, Jharsuguda airport, air traffic through this airport is picking up steadily despite the COVID-19 situation. From a passenger traffic of around 8000 in June, it has gone up to more than 13000 in August, he added.
Currently this airport has 6 flights daily which connect Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Raipur. Spicejet and Alliance Air are the two airlines which currently service the airport. Direct flights are supposed to start to Mumbai and Bangalore towards the end of October, Senapati revealed.
Capt. Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, a senior member of GOOD said the group has always lobbied for the development of the state. A second airport was a dire necessity and it is a matter of happiness that it has been successful.