It seems that the Union Government is favourable in upgrading the existing Biju Patnaik Airport here to that of international standard, said a senior official in the Government of Odisha.
Thanks to the initiative of the Chief Secretary, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is taking up the issue seriously, said sources.
B K Patnaik, Odisha Chief Secretary held talks with Syed Nasim Ahmed Zaidi, Union Secretary Civil Aviation in this regard on 1 February here.
Chief Secretary is on a three day long tour to the Capital City in connection with the All Chief Secretaries Meet being held here.
Dr.Zaidi responded positively to the demand of the Chief Secretary, said official sources in Odisha Government.
U N Behera, Principal Secretary Home also attended the meeting, where senior officials of Union Civil Aviation were present, said sources.
The demand to declare the Biju Patnaik Airport at Bhubaneswar as an international airport has gained ground in view of the abundant tourism potential in the state.
Most importantly rapid industrialization drive in the state with investors making beeline for it has also justified the demand of the state.
Besides catering to the business houses, the international airport would help tour operators bring foreign tourists to the state which has a 480 km coastline, sanctuaries, and historical monuments like the Sun Temple at Konark and beaches, feels a travel industry observer.
“An airport of international standard is essential for the state’s overall growth,” Chief Secretary added.
With the Biju Patnaik Airport expansion nearing completion and it will be ready by June, 2012, the existing terminal can cater to the need of the international flights, said the Chief Secretary.
The new terminal will provide facility to the domestic flights.
Since he took over as Chief Secretary, Mr.Patnaik is harping on the issue.
In the meantime CMD of IPICOL C J Venugopal has initiated talks with the private airlines to plan for international flights as the State Government is taking up the issue with Union Government.
A number of private airlines operators have shown keen interest in Odisha and with Dr.Zaidi’s positive mindset towards the cause, officials are hopeful of clinching the deal.