Steel City of Odisha gets Centre’s green signal for ATR-72 flight operation

The Samikhsya Bureau

BHUBANESWAR: Ahead of the Hockey World Cup scheduled for January 2023, the Steel City of Rourkela would have adequate air connectivity.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced the city as the second venue of the State to host the tournament.

The Centre and the State Government are working together at a faster pace to ensure smooth air connectivity at the earliest, according to sources in the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has clarified that ATR 72 aircraft would be allowed to operate following licence upgradation and development of Rourkela Airport.

Rourkela airport – initially developed by the Steel Authority of India Limited – has already got ARC 2B VFR license.

AAI has taken over the latest development initiative for its inclusion under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN.

While the airport was initially planned for 19-seater aircraft, the latest move has been to introduce 72-seater aircraft in flight operation.

A joint inspection was undertaken by the Centre and the State to access feasibility of the upgradation from 19-seaters to 72-seaters last year.

SAIL has provided 41 acres of land to meet the eligibility for issue of license under visual flight rule for operations of ATR-72 type aircraft.

“The ECS routes from Rourkela to Bhubaneswar and Raipur with ATR-72 type aircraft have been awarded to Alliance Air and Turbo Aviation. The operations will commence as soon as Rourkela Airport gets ready for Code 3C operations,” AAI sources maintained.

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