Non Resident Odias living in the United Arab Emirates have expressed their joy on the successful completion of one year of operations of the Veer Surendra Sai airport in Jharsuguda, Odisha.
Global Odias for Odisha’s Development (GOOD), a Dubai based expatriate group comprising of senior Odia professionals has issued a statement extending good wishes of Non-Residents on the occasion of the first anniversary of Jharsuguda airport.
They said that it was heartening to note that the airport has been having full fledged operations since the 31st of March, 2019 when the first Spicejet Delhi-Jharsuguda flight touched down at the new airport. Passenger traffic has steadily grown since then and today the airport is connected with Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Raipur. Flight services to Bangalore are scheduled to start at the end of October.
It is also good to note that ILS – Instrument Landing System facility will be operational at the airport by December. This will make Jharsuguda an all-weather airport and will make flight services less dependent on the vagaries of nature.
According to Rajesh Tripathy, a GOOD Member, the airport and regular air connectivity is the best thing that could have happened to Western Odisha. It has become the gateway to the region and not only services Western Districts of Odisha but also parts of Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. According to him this will make Jharsguda and the areas around it an industrial and commercial hub.
Rajat Rath, who is a Financial Analyst with a leading Telecommunications Firm in the UAE and is also a GOOD member opined that airports and air connectivity have become a must for economic development. ‘our region has suffered for long for lack of air connectivity and this airport will boost economic activity’.
Video messages from Captain Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Manas Panda and Priydarshee Panigrahi have all congratulated the State and Central Governments, The Airports Authority of India and the operating airlines for the smooth functioning and growing services to this airport. They have expressed their desire to see this airport grow from strength to strength and become a key communication hub in the in-land part of Eastern India.
Non Resident Odias living in the United Arab Emirates under the banner of G.O.O.D (Global Odias for Odisha’s Development) had been at the forefront of an International Campaign to operationalize Jharsguguda airport. They started their campaign in October, 2018 with a Memorandum presented to the Indian Consul General Shri Vipul in Dubai. Then, they had knocked on the doors of the Chief Minister, Shri Navin Patnaik to request him to operationalize this new airport. Apart from this, they kept up their efforts by mobilizing public opinion through mainstream media.
They had also participated in the first-ever commercial operations by a regular airline – the Delhi-Jharsuguda Spicejet Flight on the 31st of March.
A two member team of GOOD flew down especially from Dubai to board this flight and be a part of the momentous occasion. The delegation was invited to light the inaugural lamp at the Terminal 2 building of Delhi airport. They also had the honor of flagging off the aircraft on the tarmac for this historic flight along with the Captain and other dignitaries. The team had carried special gifts for all the passengers all the way from Dubai. Dates, which are Middle Eastern Speciality, were specially sourced in Duabi and packed for distribution among passengers and airport staff. Other small mementoes were also handed out to all the passengers.