Monday, 30th October 2017

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CM lays Bokaro airport foundation

Flights to Calcutta, Patna to be reality

By Praduman Choubey in Dhanbad
  • Published 26.08.18
  •  
Chief minister Raghubar Das, along with Union minister Jayant Sinha, lays the foundation stone for the expansion of Bokaro airport on Saturday. Picture by Shikhar Kumar

Dhanbad: Chief minister Raghubar Das and Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the expansion of Bokaro airport, paving the way for the launch of commercial flights for Calcutta and Patna under the regional connectivity scheme.

Under an MoU signed between Steel Authority of India Ltd and Airports Authority of India (AAI) in New Delhi on April 24 this year, the airport will be developed at a cost of Rs 52.57 crore and AAI would operate and manage the flight operations.

The development work includes restructuring and strengthening of the existing 1,673-metre long and 30-metre wide runway, the setting up of an expandable low-cost terminal building having six counters and parking facility for 20 cars. A control tower, watch towers and precision approach path indicator are also on the agenda.

The chief minister said the country under the Narendra Modi-government had made huge progress in civil aviation.

"The regional connectivity scheme under the National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, has brought about welcome changes in air travel across the country," he added.

He said the airport in Jamshedpur was awaiting the technical sanction by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to start commercial services.

"A similar airport will be developed in Dumka from where flights to Patna and Calcutta will be launched as well," Das, who later took part in a party meeting at a hotel in Bokaro, said.

Sinha said airports would also be developed in Hazaribagh and Daltonganj and possibilities were being explored to set up similar facilities in Giridih and Dhanbad as well.

"Under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, the facility of air travel at the rate of Rs 2,000 per hour would be provided to common people and 50 per cent of seats in each flight would be made available on first come, first served basis," Sinha said.

He said the number of fliers had increased to over 13 crore from 6 crore annually in the last four years.

"In Jharkhand, the passenger count has increased to around 8 lakh from 4 lakh per annum during the same period," Sinha said.

Under the third phase of UDAN, helipads will be developed at various hilly and tourist spots to connect them with helicopter services.

A helipad would also be developed in Parasnath in Giridih, Sinha said.