The Orissa government has urged the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to scale down its requirement of land for development of a new airport at Jharsuguda, an upcoming industrial hub in the state.
AAI, which has taken up the work of developing Jharsuguda airstrip into a full-fledged airport, had asked for additional 815 acres of land free of cost.
However, sources said, a maximum 734 acres of land is available near the location which includes 418 acres of private land.
“Hence, Airport Authority has been requested to scale down their requirement of land through a reasonable estimate”, said chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Besides, AAI has been urged to give a firm commitment to complete the airport upgradation work within two years of getting the additional land, he added.
AAI is yet to respond to the state government’s requests.
Earlier, AAI had stated that the commencement and completion of the new airport depended on the availability of land from the state government. AAI would invest about Rs 80crore in the first phase of the project while the investment in the second phase would depend on the traffic of the airport.
Presently, there is only one airport in the state- the Biju Patanaik Airport in Bhubaneswar. In addition to this, there are 16 airstrips and 12 helipads for landing of aircrafts and helicopters. When fully operational, Jharsuguda will be the second full fledged airport in the state after Bhubaneswar.
Sources said, the Jharsuguda airstrip will first be renovated to make it fit for landing of small 15-30 seater ATR aircrafts. In the second phase, it will be upgraded to the status of a full fledged airport.
Similarly, the state government is considering the proposal of AAI for providing additional 23 acres land for construction of parallel taxi track and development of 300 metres basic strip at the Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar, Patnaik said.