Saturday, January 30, 2021

Rourkela can resume flight ops with ATR 72 aircraft, says Hardeep Singh Puri

Rourkela: Putting to rest suspense over resumption of commercial flights from the Steel City, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said ATR 72 aircraft would be allowed to operate following licence upgradation and further development of Rourkela airport.

In a letter to Rajya Sabha Member from Delhi Sanjay Singh on January 15, Puri stated that Rourkela airport of SAIL has an ARC 2B VFR license. Developed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for operation under Regional Connectivity Scheme - Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik (RCS-UDAN), the airport was initially planned for 19-seater aircraft. 

“The ECS routes from Rourkela to Bhubaneswar and Raipur with ATR-72 type aircraft have been awarded to Alliance Air and Turbo Aviation. However, the operations are yet to commence due to lack of readiness of Rourkela airport for Code 3C operations,” he said in a reply to Singh. The Delhi RS Member had written to Puri for operation of 70-seater aircraft from Rourkela in February last year.

The Civil Aviation Minister further said, joint inspection was carried out on November 20 last for assessing requirement for ATR-72 type aircraft. The obstacle limitation surface (OLS) survey conducted for Code 2C VFR operation is being analysed for Code 3C operations. Once the regulatory requirements are complied to, operations can start with ATR-72 type aircraft.

Puri said 41 acre of land is to be alienated by SAIL to meet licensing requirements to cater to visual flight rule (VFR) operations of ATR-72 type aircraft. Work on upgradation of the airport is in progress.  Incidentally, after the joint inspection carried out under the leadership of State Commerce and Transport Principal Secretary Madhusudan Padhi, it was decided to apply for upgradation of the airport’s licence to ARC 2C VFR from ARC 2B and take up necessary infrastructure augmentation to allow operation of 42-seater aircraft.

30/01/21 New Indian Express

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