Land Issues Delaying New International Airport In Odisha

The Centre is open to strengthening the aviation infrastructure in Odisha as long as the state government ensures availability of land for the proposed new international airport near Bhubaneswar, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday.

“Three sites have been identified by authorities concerned. But the Airport Authority of India found them to be inadequate. The fourth site is under discussion,” said Puri, pointing at delays being caused due to land issues.

“The aviation infrastructure needs to be strengthened in Odisha as there has been a 25 per cent growth in the number of air passengers at Bhubaneswar airport, while 24 per cent growth in cargo and 30 per cent growth in the number of flights,” he acknowledged.

“Since the existing airport does not have the capacity, we are willing to do it. The Centre is willing to cooperate and provide infrastructure but the state government has to provide the land,” added Puri.

The minister also responded to state government’s demand for direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Dubai, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore saying, “flights are operated by private carriers. Pursuant to the request received from the Odisha chief minister, we have been in touch with private carriers and it is our expectation that one of the private carriers will be able to commence that flight at an early date. So if there is a demand, then I would recommend authorities concerned to reach out directly to service providers or through us. We are happy to facilitate the discussions.”

The decision on whether to operationalise a particular route is taken solely by the airline carrier, he added.

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