Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Odisha in July to dedicate the newly-constructed Jharsuguda airport to the nation.
Besides, he will also flag off the flight service from the airport under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), launched by the Centre to make unserved and underserved airports in small cities operational with regular flights, and offer subsidized airfares to encourage more people to fly.
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.
The date for Prime Minister’s visit will be announced very soon, reliable sources in the state BJP said.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik has demanded that the airport be named after freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai.
“Let the Prime Minister make this announcement before his visit to Odisha,” he added.
Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also urged Union Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu to name Jharsuguda Airport after Veer Surendra Sai.
In a letter to the Union minister on June 18, he had said there was a public demand for naming the airport after the freedom fighter, who hails from the same region. “Naming the airport in his name will be a fitting tribute to the legendary son of the soil,” he had pointed out.