Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate steps in order resume flight operations from and to Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Jharsuguda.
The Prime Minister had inaugurated the airport on September 22 with flagging off the first flight of Air Odisha under UDAN scheme to Raipur.
The Air Odisha has suspended flight operations since October 6 without any valid reason or proper intimation to airport officials causing inconvenience to air travellers.
Taking note of it, the CM wrote a letter to PM seeking his early intervention in the matter. “I would urge upon you to kindly direct Ministry of Civil Aviation for immediate restoration of UDAN flight operations from Jharsuguda airport,” Naveen said in the letter.
Besides, the Chief Minister also requested the PM to initiate steps to make the Jharsuguda airport a full-fledged commercial airport.
“I had requested the Government of India to consider introduction of commercial flights in addition to the UDAN flights,” Naveen wrote. “The State government is committed to provide all necessary fund and support for further expansion of Jharsuguda airport”.
He further pointed out: “The abrupt suspension of flights from and to Jharsuguda airport has given a severe jolt to the aviation sector in the State and has also hurt the sentiments of of the people of Western Odisha.”
Keeping in mind large number of people from Western Odisha travelling to other parts of the country and abroad by air, Naveen urged Modi to instruct national carrier Air India to start operation from Bhubaneswar to New Delhi via Jharsuguda.
This apart, Naveen wrote in his letter that the Union Government should soon come out with an official notification naming Jharsuguda airport as ‘Veer Surendra Sai Airport’.
Worth mentioning, Air Odisha is operating flights from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar, Raipur and Jagdalpur under the UDAN scheme.