Bhubaneswar, Oct 17: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has written a letter to the Centre urging to start the international flight operations from Biju Patnaik airport in Bhubaneswar to different parts of the world.
In a letter to Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Naveen wrote "Government of India has declared Biju Patnaik Airport, Bhubaneswar as an International Airport on 30.10.2013. As a follow up, State Government made arrangements for establishing immigration, health and quarantine facilities at the new International Airport Terminal. The VAT on ATF was also brought down from 20% to 5% with effect from December, 2013. Airport Authority of India also established a new terminal fully dedicated for international flights. State Government has also written several letters enclosing copies of the requests from international carriers interested to start international flight operations from Bhubaneswar. But unfortunately, no decision has been taken by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on this important issue".
"I may add that the failure to utilise the new Terminal and the delay in the international flights from Bhubaneswar has not only adversely affected the economics of the Airport Authority of India but has also undermined the legitimate expectations of the people of Odisha", further he added.
"Considering the industrial, commercial and tourist importance of Odisha, a decision on this issue may be taken urgently. If felt necessary, an official level meeting of your officers and the officers of the State Government along with the representatives of interested carriers may be urgently convened to discuss the is I look forward to an early response", Naveen added in his letter.