Bhubaneswar: The buzz is currently around the state’s second airport at Jharsuguda, scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 22.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram took to Twitter on Thursday and provided a sneak peek into the new airport by posting some pictures. He tweeted, “It shall provide much-needed boost to this region in Odisha, besides creating enormous opportunities.”
The airport has been developed over 909.22 acre at a cost of Rs 175 crore, of which Rs 50 crore has been invested by the state government.
According to sources, the Prime Minister will launch Air Odisha’s Jharsuguda-Bhubaneswar flight services under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN, after inaugurating the airport. He will also flag off the maiden flight from the western Odisha city, which will land at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar on the inaugural day.
Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the Rs 13000-crore Talcher Fertiliser Plant revival project. The plant has been shut since 2002.
On Tuesday, a Boeing-737 of Indian Air Force (IAF) made a trial landing at the newly-built airport. The IAF plane with two pilots and a technical officer from New Delhi reached Jharsuguda at 1 pm. They reviewed the infrastructure and flew back to Indira Gandhi International Airport after 30 minutes, according to reports.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, reiterating the request to name the airport after eminent freedom fighter Veer Surendra Sai. He also urged the Centre to introduce commercial flight services to the western Odisha city.
On May 4, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had accorded aerodrome licence to the Jharsuguda airport, the second in the state after Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.