The flight operations from Odisha's Puri are likely to start by 2022-23 as work to establish an International Airport has begun, the state Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said on Sunday.
The process to identify a suitable location for the development of an airport has been started. All necessary steps are being taken for the airport in the pilgrim city, Behera said.
"We have already held meetings with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and other concerned departments for the development of the airport. The state government is extending all necessary support in this regard," the minister said, adding, as soon as the land has been identified, construction activities will be taken up.
"If everything goes as planned, we will very likely see flight services from Puri in 2022-23," he further said.
Last month, a team of AAI had visited the pilgrim town Puri to make a pre-feasibility study for the proposed airport. They visited the proposed site at Girala near Sipasarubali area on Puri-Bramhagiri road.
The Rath Yatra of Puri is a world-famous annual event attracting lakhs of pilgrims and visitors from across the world. Therefore, the proposed airport will help bring Jagannath devotees from across the world to Puri and will help promote Jagannath culture across the world, said an official.
Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set up an international airport at Puri in the name of Sri Jagannath International Airport.
Meanwhile, process is also on for development of Rourkela Jeypore and Utkela airstrips under UDAN scheme. Due to Covid-19 situation, the process was delayed. Now, steps are being taken to make these airstrips operationalise, the official said.
(With IANS Inputs)