Two new flight services, under the UDAN scheme, will begin soon from the Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Airport in Jharsuguda, a senior state government official said on Wednesday. The new flights will connect Jharsuguda to Bengaluru and Kolkata, the Chief Secretary of Odisha, A K Tripathy, said here after the Regional Air Connectivity Council’s meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the VSS Airport on September 22, 2018. A discussion regarding expansion of Rourkela and Jeypore airstrips was also held during the meeting, he said. “The tendering process of Rs 55 crore has been completed for the Jeypore airstrip project. Flight services will commence once the basic infrastructure is ready,” Tripathy said.
At present, a number of flights, under the regional connectivity scheme known as UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), operate to Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Raipur from Jharsuguda, the Director of Civil Aviation of Odisha, H B Panda, said.
“Two more flights, one to Bengaluru and the other to Kolkata, will be added soon,” he said. Currently, Alliance Air flies to Bhubaneswar and Raipur, SpiceJet to Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata from here, he said. The state government is providing manpower and financial support to make the regional connectivity scheme (UDAN scheme) viable, Panda said, adding, the government has also decided to reduce VAT on aviation fuel from 5 per cent to 1 per cent.
He said four airstrips of Odisha were selected for UDAN (Ude Aam Nagarik) scheme. These airstrips are located at Rourkela, Jharsguda, Utkel (Kalahandi) and Jeypore (Koraput).