Int’l Airport In Puri: Centre’s Green Light To AAI For Pre-Feasibility Study
Bhubaneswar: On January 1, the Odisha government proposed an international airport, named after Lord Jagannath, at Puri.
On January 12, the Civil Aviation Ministry held a meeting and discussed the proposal with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Directorate of Civil Aviation and the state government.
This was revealed in the written reply by Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to a query raised by BJD member Sujeet Kumar in the Rajya Sabha.
The Union minister informed the House that the AAI has been asked to carry out a pre-feasibility study of the patch of land near Puri town identified by the state government.
“Once the AAI team visits the site and conducts the study, the government will take this forward,” a senior government official was quoted as saying by a national daily.
In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said that the proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the world to Puri and promote Jagannath culture across the world.
The Sun Temple of Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is just 35 km away from Puri and along with the adjacent Ramachandi-Chandrabhaga beaches will provide a unique experience to national and international tourists, he wrote and added that Puri is connected to two Ramsar sites — Chilka Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park — both of which have huge potential for international eco-tourism.
Speaking to Odisha Bytes, Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Usha Padhee had said that Bhubaneswar receives only narrow-body aircraft and a separate one can be built on a bigger scale near the Pilgrim Town for the long-range ones. “International airports are being built within 60 km distance. For instance, the Hindon Airport which is around 50 km from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. London has multiple airports. This proposal has potential,” she added.
The proposed airport will cater to the greater state capital region of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Konark and take care of international operations. This will help to take the load off Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.