The on-going developmental work at the Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar, which aims to upgrade the airport as an International airport, is likely to be completed by November, 2011.
The expansion work, being implemented by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), envisages construction of new domestic terminal building complex with all modern amenities, which includes two aerobridges at a cost of Rs 145.54 crore.
On completion of these works, the final capacity of the Bhubaneswar airport would be 970 domestic passengers and 348 international passengers during peak hours as per IMG norms, says Union minister of state for civil aviation, Praful Patel.
Funds earmarked for construction of new terminal building and extension of apron was Rs 160.45 crore. Out of this, Rs 24.59 crore has been spent by September, this year, Patel said in response to a query from Rajya Sabha MP, Renubala Pradhan.
The average number of passengers handled by the Bhubaneswar airport daily varies from 2500 to 3150. The average daily passengers handled by the airport was 2637 in April, 2506 in May, 3150 in June, 2657 in July, 2848 in August and 2517 in September this year.
Patel said, the National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL) operates daily flights in Delhi-Bhubaneswar-Delhi and Mumbai-Raipur-Bhubanswar-Mumabi sectors and five flights per week in Chennai-Bhubaneswar-Chennai sector.
Similarly, the Jet Airways operates daily flights in Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Kolkata sector, while Kingfisher Airlines operates Mumbai-Bhubaneswar-Mumbai and Bangalore-Bhubaneswar-Bangalore and Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Kolkata sector (twice daily) flights.
Idigo operates Delhi-Bhubaneswar-Delhi (twice daily) and Hyderabad-Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad flights.
Replying to another question, the Union minister said, “It is up to airlines to provide air services to specific places depending upon the traffic demand and commercial viability. As such, airlines are free to operate anywhere in the country including Bhubaneswar subject to compliances of route dispersal guidelines issued by the government”.