The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI), signed an Operation and Management (O & M) agreement today in New Delhi to facilitate commercial operations from Rourkela in the state of Odisha.
SAIL, in 2018, had signed a MOU for the use of its own airport, under the UDAN scheme, for the operation of commercial flights. Now, SAIL has signed the O&M contract with AAI, through its Rourkela Steel Plant, to facilitate the commencement of commercial flights from Rourkela. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has provided financial support for the up-gradation of this airport.
The government of Odisha will provide the security, fire, and ambulance services, besides helping with other local clearances. AAI, on behalf of SAIL-Rourkela Steel Plant, will operate and manage the airport.
The airport will provide relief to all air travellers from the industrial town of Rourkela and the surrounding areas. The commencement of air services is also important in view of the forthcoming Hockey World Cup, where 20 out of the total 44 matches are being held at Rourkela in January 2023. This global event will witness a huge footfall in Rourkela during the period and the requirement for air connectivity to the city will be a major necessity for logistical reasons.
SAIL, one of the largest steel companies in the country and a ‘Maharatna’ CPSE, has been actively participating in the development of peripheral areas around its production facilities. This endeavour, in the public interest, is likely to boost economic activity in this region.