Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has proposed to develop greenfield airports in five locations in an effort to boost intra-state and inter-state civil aviation facilities.

The five airports will come up in the industrial hubs of Rayagada, Paradip, Dhamara, Angul and Kalinganagar, a senior official said adding proposals were also on the anvil to upgrade existing airfields at Gopalpur, Jharsuguda, Barbil and Rourkela.

The state-owned IPICOl in association with the Civil Aviation Department has initiated a road map for facilitating investment in aviation related activities to boost intra and interstate trade and tourism.

"A road map has been prepared for a period of 10 years from 2012-13 to 2022-23. The proposed areas of development range from creation of night parking facility and hinterland connectivity to establishment of aero city and refueling Hub," the official said.

The state also set a target of creating milestones like domestic terminal and connectivity, setting up of aviation training institutes, operationalisation of international flight, development of cargo hub and airline base, the sources said.
Civil aviation facility

The state presently has presently 17 airstrips and 16 helipads. The government has also identified nine locations in the state which are to be connected through civil aviation facility.

Odisha is connected with other parts of the country through airlines like Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo. While Jet Airways has connectivity to Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Indigo is linked to Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Vishakhpatnam.

Air India has connectivity to Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

"We are working on operation of flights to establish connectivity to other cities like Raipur, Patna, Bhopal and Ranchi," the official said.

He said a high-level meeting, chaired by chief secretary B K Patnaik, was held recently on the matter.

Patnaik has also asked IPICOL to explore partnership opportunities with interested airlines for connectivity to South and Southeast Asia from the international wing of Bhubaneswar Airport.

Air India and Indigo have started seamless connectivity to international locations from Bhubaneswar-Dubai.

Fly Dubai and Air Asia have also expressed interest to operate direct international flights from Bhubaneswar, said another official.
Intra -State connectivity

The initiatives for intra-state connectivity are also in full swing, he said adding the chief secretary had suggested to take up connectivity at least to Jharsuguda, Koraput, Rourkela and Rayagada in the first phase.
The enabling policies of the state government have attracted Air Odisha and Global Aviation  to come forward for intra-state aviation.

"They have expressed interest for starting the operation soon," he said.

Meanwhile, the state government has identified 190 acres of land for expansion of the airports. The Airport Authority of India had been moved to help the state in development of airports.
The government has also initiated actions to encourage private players to utilize air cargo routes and develop world class cargo hub in Odisha.

Of late, growth of international trade has boosted prospects for air cargo market in India.

Odisha also sees a large opportunity to have a good share in cargo market. It has been decided that the government will facilitate in developing cold storage chains to handle perishable goods and durable commodities at state airports.

It has also been decided that steps would be taken for market assessment and feasibility for setting up a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul facility in Odisha in PPP mode.


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