Bhubaneswar, May 12 : Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday urged Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to establish a new airport on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
He said Biju Patnaik International Airport registered the fastest growth of passenger traffic in 2017-18 in India as it recorded 3.25 million passengers, both domestic and international.
"The airport, which was started in 1962, is near saturation and faces severe space and runway-related constraints.
There is, thus, an urgent need to set up a new airport at Bhubaneswar given the tremendous growth potential of this Smart City," said Pradhan in a letter released to media on Saturday.
The process of identifying a suitable piece of land near Khordha on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar is underway.
As the construction of development of the airport takes considerable time, this process needs to be hastened to avoid severe air traffic congestions and needless public inconvenience, said Pradhan.
He also requested Prabhu for commissioning of a new terminal (T3) and revamping facilities at the existing two terminals to international standards.
Expressing his pleasure over upcoming plans for launching flights from Jharsuguda under UDAN scheme, he sought Prabhu's support for early operationalization of the UDAN scheme at remaining airports of Jeypore, Rourkela and Utkela.
He also proposed a longer runway at Jharsuguda airport to handle bigger aircraft and sought Prabhu's intervention for the early completion of this project.
The union minister also proposed operationalisation of ATR-type flights connecting Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda, Ranchi, Raipur, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam to boost regional air connectivity.
Pradhan also reiterated the demand for commissioning of a new airport at Paradip, which is emerging as the economic hub of Odisha with investments of around Rs 92,000 crore in various sectors.