Approached MoD for nod to develop Amarda airstrip: MoS Singh

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approached the Ministry of Defence (MoD) seeking permission for Odisha government to develop a civil enclave at the Amarda airstrip, which was built during World War-II.

The was revealed in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, V.K. Singh, while replying to a question raised by BJD MP Amar Patnaik.

Singh said the Amarda (Rasgovindpur) airstrip in Mayurbhanj district, belonging to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is included in the UDAN scheme document.

Last month, the Odisha government had requested the MoD to accord permission for using the Amarda airstrip for operations under UDAN. Odisha Chief Secretary S.C. Mahapatra had written to Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar in this regard.

On March 7, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had approached the MoD to consider the request of the government of Odisha for granting permission to develop a civil enclave at the airstrip, the Union minister informed the House.

Bhubaneswar to Amarda and vice-versa was offered as state sponsored route under bidding round UDAN 4.1 and the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, received one bid.

A multi-disciplinary team of AAI had visited the airstrip on September 16, 2021 and conducted inspection of the existing site along with state revenue department officials, he said.

The team also mentioned the requirement of additional land for development of the airport for IFR operations of Code C aircraft.

Disclosing the details about airports identified under UDAN scheme, Singh said the airports at Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Utkela, Jeypore and Rangeilunda have been identified/awarded under UDAN so far.

Similarly, Amarda Road, Angul, Barbil, Birasal, Gudari, Hirakund, J.K. Pur, Jeypore, Lanjigarh, Nawapara, Padampur, Rairangpur, Raisuan, Rangeilunda, Sukinda, Therubali, Tushra and Utkela are the unserved airports available in the UDAN scheme document for the state of Odisha.

A total of 60 routes have been awarded under UDAN for the state and 18 have been operationalised till date, he added.

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