Jeypore: Hopes to launch regular flights from the Jeypore airstrip soars high as the construction work nears completion. The construction work is likely to be completed by December and the airstrip will become operational in January, an official report said.
Earlier, Koraput Collector had visited the airstrip and taken stock of the ongoing project work.
The airstrip was included in the Centre’s UDAN scheme, and its expansion was handed over to the Roads and Buildings Department.
UDAN is a regional airport development and regional connectivity scheme of the Centre aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread for the common citizen for national economic development, job growth and air infrastructure of all regions and state in the country.
After Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda, the Jeypore airstrip will be the third to get the civil aviation airport tag in the state.
Flights from Jeypore will connect Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, Raipur and Hyderabad as of now.
The airstrip built in the 1960s was used whenever ministers or VIPs visited the town. Later, in the 1980s a private airline started operating flights from Jeypore airstrip. But the service was stopped after the flight crashed.
Air Odisha had started flights from Jeypore in 2016, but its services were stopped later as both companies were using single engine planes.
The state government urged the Centre to resume flights from the airstrip, and the Centre included Jeypore in the UDAN scheme.
The runway width has been expanded to 24-metres from 15 metres. Similarly, a boundary wall extending to 2.5 km was built around the airstrip. It is expected that the tourism industry would get a shot in the arm in the undivided Koraput district if flights operate to Jeypore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second airport of the state at Jharsuguda in October.
Similarly, it was aimed to launch flight services from Jeypore airstrip on UDAN routes from September 2017, but it got delayed due in the absence of necessary infrastructure.