Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is most likely to inaugurate the Jharsugda airport in the western district of Odisha on July 5.
Though it was earlier decided to make the airport operational for regional connectivity services (RCS) under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme on June 20, the deadline was extended to July 5 keeping the tour schedule of the prime minister in view, the sources said.
The airport has been built on an area of 909.22 acres at a cost of Rs 175 crore of which the state government has chipped in with Rs 50 crore.
The airport is capable of handling A320 Airbus with a maximum capacity of 180 passengers.
While Air Odisha has decided to launch its flight operations from Jharsuguda airport to Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and Raipur, the company, in its initial phase has bought a 21-seater twin-engine Beechcraft 1990D aircraft.
While the schedule for the inauguration of the Jharusugda airport is tentatively fixed, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning for the inauguration of the Rourkela airport the same day.
On the other hand, construction of the Utkela airstrip near Bhawanipatna in Kahalandi district and Jeypore airstrip in Koraput district is underway on a war-footing.
These two airstrips too would be made operational for regional connectivity services under the UDAN scheme.
The AAI has appointed a former senior official of the Biju Patnaik International Airport as the officer on special duty (OSD) to oversee the work at the Jeypore airstrip.
While the construction of the runway of the Utkela airstrip has been completed, the AAI authorities have urged the district administration to complete the process of the land acquisition at the earliest for construction of the administrative and terminal buildings.