Rs 45 Cr Sanctioned For 6th Airport In Odisha, Bhubaneswar-Amarda Flight Services To Start Soon
Bhubaneswar: Flight services are likely to commence from the sixth airport in Odisha with the Centre having identified the Amarda Road airstrip in Mayurbhanj district for operation of RCS flights under the UDAN scheme.
“Amarda Road airstrip is available in the list of unserved airports in UDAN Document. Under UDAN 4.2, it has been identified for development for the operation of RCS flights. The route Bhubaneswar-Amarda-Bhubaneswar has been awarded to Air Taxi for the operations,” Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said in a letter to Balasore MP Pratap Chandra Sarangi.
The airstrip in Odisha’s Rasgovindpur was included in special bid under UDAAN 4.1 in 2021. A central team also visited the airstrip to study the feasibility of starting the operation of an airport.
Scindia further informed that Rs 45 crore has also been sanctioned for development of the airstrip. “An amount of Rs 45 crore has been sanctioned for the development of the Amarda airstrip under the UDAN scheme. It has been informed by the Government of Odisha that development work at the airstrip will be taken up once the land is handed over by the Ministry of Defence to the State. On the readiness of the airport, the Selected Airline Operator may start RCS flight operations from/to Amarda,” he added.
In February last year, Union Minister Bishweswar Tudu had again pitched for the revival of Armada Road Airstrip, which was operational during World War II. He had then said that the airport will cater to the travel needs of people from Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Keonjhar districts of Odisha, south Bengal and east Jharkhand while addressing the requirements of key institutions like the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district and IIT-Kharagpur in West Bengal.
The Odisha government had also urged the Centre to operate the airstrip under the UDAN scheme the same month while adding that NOC from DRDO is awaited for using the airstrip for commercial flight operation under RCS-UDAN.
The Amarda Road airstrip, as it was called in war terminology, spreads across an area of nearly 800 acres. Built in the 1940’s at a cost of Rs 3 crore it was eventually abandoned after the war. It was probably named as the Amarda Road Airfield due to the nearby Amarda Road railway station, according to historian Anil Dhir.
On August 31, Utkela became the fifth airport in Odisha after BPIA, Jharsuguda, Jeypore and Rourkela to start flight operations.