Fate Of Jharsuguda Airport Hangs Fire!

Bhubaneswar: Just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the newly-built Veer Surendra Sai Airport at Jharsuguda on September 22, flights from and to the airport have stopped.

The second major airport in the state has not been made operational for over two weeks following a high number of flight cancellations by Air Odisha, the budget airliner that had bagged the rights to operate UDAN flights between Raipur, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda.

A couple of days after Civil Aviation Ministry slapped a show-cause notice on Air Odisha for discontinuing operations, BJD members from Jharsuguda met party chief Naveen Patnaik regarding the same on Friday.

They blamed the central government for the state of the airport.

The airport named after the legendary freedom fighter was expected to boost investment and development in western Odisha.

“The Jharsuguda airport is a full-fledged functional airport and available for all domestic scheduled and non-scheduled operations. The selected airline under Udan has been issued with a show cause notice for discontinuing their operations quoting technical reasons,” the Ministry said in a tweet.

Sources say poor planning, technical issues with aircraft, shortages of pilots and engineers, and non-availability of slots are the reasons for Air Odisha not being able to operate flights from the airport.

On Wednesday, Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das had warned that the people of western Odisha will take to the street if the Jharsuguda airport is not made operational within a month.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dedicated the airport, included in the UDAN scheme, to the nation on September 22. 

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