Home AVIATION Fly Utkela Begins

Fly Utkela Begins

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia jointly flagged off the first scheduled flight service to Utkela in Kalahandi district at Biju Patnaik International airport on Thursday.

A 9-seater Aircraft is operated by India One Air in the Bhubaneswar-Utkela route.  Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu, Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Chief Secretary PK Jena, Secretary to CM VK Pandian and senior officers of C&T dept were also present in Bhubaneswar on the occasion. MoS, Ministry of Civil Aviation Gen. V K Singh (Rtd.) was present in New Delhi.

Utkela will be connected with Temple City Bhubaneswar by air for which the travel time will be 1 hour 15 minutes.  With this, a long-standing demand for flight operation to Utkela has been fulfilled.

In order to increase air connectivity from the state capital to other cities and large areas, the Government of Odisha has started scheduled flight operations under RCS-UDAN Scheme on Bhubaneswar-Utkela (Kalahandi) route.

The presence of attractive places and tourist destinations like Manikeswari Temple, Phuli Jharan Waterfall, Rabandhara waterfall, Kalrapat wildlife sanctuary etc. will attract many tourists after air connectivity at Utkela.

Senior Doctors, Professors of Saheed Rendo Majhi Medical College and Hospital, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi and businessmen from the city will fly out and in frequently.

Earlier, Utkela Airstrip was used only on handful occasions for flight operations during the arrival of dignitaries.

Utkela airport is owned by the Government of Odisha. It has been developed as a regional airport under the UDAN scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India at a cost of Rs. 31.07 crore. Utkela airport has a runway of length 917 meters. (2,995 ft.) with a width of 30 meters. With the addition of Utkela Airport, Odisha will now have five airports.

The newly inaugurated Utkela – Bhubaneswar – Utkela flight route will enhance regional air connectivity and play an important role in the economic development of the region.

Minister Shri Scindia said that Utkela to Bhubaneswar air connectivity will reduce the time taken to travel by road which is nearly 8 hours.

Elaborating further, the Minister said that this will be a new beginning for Kalahandi region as economic activities will come up and generate a range of employment opportunities. Scindia added that the central government is working in close cooperation with the Odisha government developing the civil aviation infrastructure in the State.

MoS Civil Aviation Dr.Singh said that the central government spent around Rs 31 crore in the redevelopment of the Utkela airport. Now Kalahandi will be connected to Bhubaneswar and other cities in the state which will help in the development of the region, he added.