The state government has sanctioned Rs 50 crore to develop an airstrip at Jharsuguda into a full-fledged airport.
A sources said chief secretary J K Mohapatra has written to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) chairman, V P Agrawal, that the government has sanctioned Rs 50 crore for the Rs 175-crore project to be jointly executed by AAI and the state government.
“We hope Jharsuguda Airport will become operational in two years. Aircrafts like Airbus A-321 and Boeing 767, used by domestic carriers, can land in the airport. The airport will cater to areas like Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Angul,” said an official.
The state government has asked the Jharsuguda collector to identify 119 acre of land for the first phase expansion work although another 275.75 acre area will be required. Land acquisition is underway and a plot of 56.21 acre of private land has already been identified.
Biju Patnaik Airport director Sharad Kumar said apart from increasing the length of airport, a 5,500sqmt new terminal building and air traffic control (ATC) tower will be built at Jharsuguda, which is spread over 909.22 acre.
“Gradually parking space for about 200 cars, conveyer belts and boundary wall work will be taken up,” said the director.
The government has made a similar attempt for expansion of Jeypore airstrip. It has written to the Koraput collector to identify 910 acre for developing the airstrip there.