Bhubaneswar: Odisha has initiated the process for upgrading the Jeypore airstrip in Koraput district into a full-fledged airport for commercial operations, official sources said on Friday.
It has asked the Koraput district collector to finalise the financial implication for land acquisition as well as the timeline for implementation of the project.
"The pre-feasibility report of Airport Authority of India (AAI) and your identification of 445.52 acres land for expansion of runway and other infrastructure has been analysed," said U.C. Kar, additional secretary to the general administration department, in a letter to the collector recently.
"We are waiting the nod of state government for sanctioning of money to be given to the land losers after acquiring their land for development of the airstrip," said a senior official of the district administration.
The government has already requested AAI to provide technical and financial support for development and operation of the airstrip, in line with the upgradation activities that are taking place at the Jharsuguda airstrip.
Considering the establishment of various industries, including Nalco and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in Jeypore area, the government hopes that it would be commercial viable.
HAL has also urged the AAI to expedite upgrading of the airstrip to facilitate the transportation of aircraft engines by air.
In July 31 last year, the government had signed an agreement with AAI for developing a no-frills airport at the Jharsuguda airstrip at a cost of Rs.210 crore.