Jharsuguda: In what comes as a good news for people in western Odisha, the flight operations at Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) airport under UDAN scheme will resume at Jharsuguda in the first week of January, 2019, reports said.
Airport director Sudesh Chouhan informed about the progress Tuesday. Chouhan said the bidding process for resuming the flight operation is underway. While the tenders are scheduled to be floated December 31, flight service is likely to resume after the first week of January, Chouhan added.
Recently, the Jharsuguda Airport, which has been renamed as the Veer Surendra Sai Airport (VSSA), was in the media troll for non-operation of flights following its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi September 22.
Earlier, the NRIs living the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also stepped up their efforts meeting Patnaik and presenting a memorandum in this regard last month.
Later, fed up with the negligence of Air Odisha, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) had cancelled licence of the low cost carrier November 19 for its irregular flight services under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).
As per reports, Air Odisha was not regularly operating its flight services under the UDAN scheme citing various reasons, including technical glitches. The Air Odisha, which had obtained licence under the UDAN scheme, could fly only 30 per cent flights while 70 per cent of its flights never operated.
So, the AAI had cancelled the licence. This had raised uncertainty over the liability of Jharsuguda airport. With this, flight service to all eastern regions, including Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand had been suspended. Similarly, Air Odisha flights from Bhubaneswar to Raipur and from Raipur to Jagdalpur had also been cancelled.
However, the news of resumption of the flight services has come as good news for the people here. They welcomed the move and thanked the Chief Minister for taking swift action.
Notably, the Jharsuguda airport was flagged off by Prime Minister Modi September 22. Built at an investment of Rs 210 crore, the airport is expected to play a major role in the development of Odisha tourism and hotel industries.