Bhubaneswar: Transformative infrastructure is one of the thurst areas of the annual budget for 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari in Odisha Assembly on Monday.
The budget outlay includes Rs 100 crore for land acquisition, construction, renovation and expansion of airports at Rourkela, Jeypore, Utkela, Jharsuguda, and renovation of Birasal airstrip.
Flight operations from Jharsuguda airport started on March 31, 2019. While SpiceJet operates flight from Jharsuguda to cities like New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata, regional operator Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, runs flight to Raipur and Bhubaneswar.
On February 15, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security DG, Usha Padhee informed that flight operations from Rourkela Airport will begin soon.
The Rourkela airport currently has a licence for operating 19-seater aircraft under the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik (UDAN) scheme. This, however, needs to be ramped up in view of the upcoming 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. An inspection to scale up flight operations to 72-seater aircraft was carried out in November last year. The work to upgrade infrastructure for that is in progress.
Similarly, commercial flight services from the Jeypore airport in the Southern Odisha district of Koraput are expected in six to eight months.
Utkela in Kalahandi district, however, is still in the construction stage.
Birasal airstrip in Dhenkanal district, on the other hand, was being used for pilot training.