Thursday, April 12, 2018

State urges centre to run small airports

Bhubaneswar: With huge possibilities of growing air traffic, the State Government has approached the Centre to take up the operation and maintenance of small airports to promote air connectivity in the State.

The State administration strongly feels that if the Union Government will accede to the request, and ask the Airport Authority of India (AAI), then small airports like Jeypore, Utkela and Rourkela will provide ample scope for air journey.

In fact, AAI Chairman Guru Prasad Mahapatra is inclined to support the State in this regard. However, the Union Government is to take a call, said a senior official in the Department of General Administration (DoGA), which handles the State civil aviation sector. While the Union Government is pushing the Regional Air Connectivity (RCS) Scheme Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik (UDAN) in a big way in otherStates, the Odisha Government has approached the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in this regard.

Under RCS-UDAN, the Government of India is only providing 80 per cent of the Viability Gap Funding (VGF), whereas the State Government is asked to bear bulk of the cost of operating an airport along with its management.

In order to make RCS-UDAN a success, the Government of India should ask the AAI to take up operation and maintenance of small airports, pointed out a senior official in the State Government.

While under the RCS-UDAN, it has been decided by the Government of India to connect Bhubaneswar with Jeypore, Utkela, Jharsuguda and Rourkela, however, starting air service from these airports is getting delayed due to several reasons.
12/04/18 Pioneer