PM Modi likely to inaugurate Jagdalpur Airport on April 14

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Apr 2018 10:58:15



The Hitavada State Bureau


A 5-member Communication Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) team of Airports Authority of India (AAI) from Raipur has been camping in Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of restive Bastar region for the past
48-hours as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the much-awaited and newly-built building of Jagdalpur Airport on April 14. However, the AAI sources denied having any intimation at their end whether PM Modi would inaugurate the airport. Yet, they attributed that the State Government was keen to see the inauguration of the Jagdalpur Airport by the Prime Minister and hence, they have been trying hard to get this key task accomplished during his visit. Directorate of Civil Aviation, Government of Chhattisgarh, is the airport operator.

Thus, in all probabilities, it is very likely that air operations, under Regional Connectivity Scheme – UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) – may get kicked off to a flying start within a month span, if the Prime Minister happens to inaugurate the airport during his visit to Bastar (Bijapur) slated for April 14. The operation of the Jagdalpur Airport in Maoist-afflicted Bastar district is aimed to boost air services in the industrially rich areas of the state.While all civil works of the Jagdalpur Airport building has been completed, the CNS team has been sent to run all ‘trial and error’ tests of terminal operations ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Spread over 132 acres, all the key civil works of the airport required for operational purpose on 112 acres, like runway, parking bay, taxing area, in addition to the terminal building structure encompassing arrival/departure; waiting lounge, security hold area, fire-fighting services etc have been completed. Work on Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower was also going on war-footing pace, under the supervision of CNS team at present,” AAI sources told The Hitavada.

According to sources, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) previously had announced that the Jagdalpur airport will be able to cater to commercial operations from September 2017, but it failed to meet operability deadline owing to unforeseeable circumstances. “However, if the airport is formally inaugurated by the PM, Air Odisha would commence operation of two flights from Jagdalpur, under RCS UDAN Scheme, to connect Raipur and Visakhapatnam. The private aircraft carrier has already consented to deploy 19-seater aircraft ‘to and fro’ here,” the sources added. Sources also revealed that the State Civil Aviation Department has already begun the process to recruit the needed man-power for running the airport operations, but the whole ATC facility would be taken care of by Airports Authority of India (AAI). The Jagdalpur Airport has been upgraded to 2C Category, which also enables it for the operations of 40-50 seats ATR aircrafts in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. The airport has capacity to accommodate four aircrafts. In comparison to a fully-functional Raipur Airport, whose runway length is 2.286 kilometre, the total length of Jagdalpur airport runway is 1.5 kilometre.

Earlier, in mid 2016, a five-member team of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) along with Raipur airport officials had also visited Jagdalpur airport to take up study the feasibility of starting full-fledged commercial operations from there. The team, headed by member planning AAI, Sudhir Raheja, also comprised of Aerodrome Inspector from Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA), experts from civil engineering, Assistant Commissioner Security from Bureau of Civil Aviation Security Mumbai along with Raipur Airport Director, Santosh Dhoke and Deputy Director of State Government aviation, Pankaj Jaiswal.
The team had then inspected facilities at the airport and suggested ways and means to upgrade them.