The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will develop the Jagdalpur airport in Chhattisgarh for ATR type of aircraft operations under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), officials informed.
The airport had been found fit for general aviation operations, they informed.
Notably, Chhattisgarh is aggressively focussing on development of three regional airports mainly Jagdalpur, Ambikapur and Raigarh under the Regional Connectivity Scheme of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, officials informed.
The State has already spent more than Rs 34 crore in the development of the aforesaid three air strips,
Notably, Union Home Ministry also appears to be very keen to see Jagdalpur Airport in Bastar to be developed and fully operational at the earliest.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his review meeting on May 8 this year in his address in New Delhi had stated that the Airport at Jagdalpur will be operational very soon.
Notably, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on January 27 this year had performed bhoomi pujan for construction of terminal building and for taking up expansion works for Jagdalpur Airport .
During the programme, the Chief Minister had also inspected the construction site.
The Chief Minister while addressing gathering said that with the construction of terminal building, flights would be started soon which will surely benefit the people of Bastar division.
The State Government has inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air India for launching flights whereas the monetary loss to the airline if any would be borne by the State Government as per the MoU, Singh further said.
However, he expressed hope that there would be no loss for providing air services as most of the people want to travel by air from Jagdalpur.
The RCS is the key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy which was released by the Ministry on June 15, 2016. The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.
This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central and State government concessions, as well as Viability Gap Funding to the interested airlines to kick-off operations from such airports, so that the passenger fares are kept affordable.
The fare for a one hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would now be capped at Rs 2,500, with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths / duration.
A Regional Connectivity Fund would be created to fund the VGF requirements under the scheme. The same would be funded through a levy on certain domestic flights.
The partner State Governments would also contribute a 20% share to this fund (10% for North Eastern States). For balanced regional growth, the allocations under the scheme would be equitably spread across the 5 geographical regions of the country viz North, West, South, East and North-east.
The States have been given a key role under the scheme. The selection of airports where RCS operations would be done in consultation with State Government and after confirmation of their concessions. This will be based on the selection of routes by the airline operators.