Odisha seeks detailed reports from AAI for upgrading Rourkela & Jeypore airports
According to the information provided, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been slow in equipping the Rourkela airport in Odisha, owned by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), with all-weather operations and further development. In response to this, the Odisha government has taken the responsibility upon itself.
The Pincipal Secretary to the Commerce & Transport Department, Usha Padhee, has written a letter to the AAI chairman, Sanjiv Kumar, requesting two Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for the upgradation of the Rourkela and Jeypore airports. Currently, these airports operate under the RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) scheme with VFR (Visual Flight Rules) operation licenses.
Padhee mentioned that there have been numerous cancellations and diversions of flights due to low visibility and bad weather conditions, leading to public complaints and demands for all-weather operations at these airports. She urged the AAI to prepare DPRs that include master planning, land requirements, proposed landing and homing aids, details of night landing facilities with Category 1 ILS (Instrument Landing System), IAL (Integrated Approach Lighting), and RNP (Required Navigational Performance) procedures. She also requested the airports to be upgraded to the 3C license category. Padhee stated that any charges for the DPRs should be informed to the government for payment.
This development has occurred in response to the Civil Aviation Ministry allegedly failing to fulfill its promises regarding the upgrade of the Rourkela airport and the launch of flight operations on the Rourkela-Kolkata route following the completion of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 held in Rourkela.