Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Jamshedpur: DGCA team inspects Sonari aerodrome, hopes revive to start air service


Jamshedpur, May 6 : A five-member team of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Sunday inspected Sonari aerodrome to carry prospect for starting air service under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme.

The Union government has been exploring feasibility of connecting more cities under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

The team met senior officials of Tata Steel aviation department and studied the facilities available. Air Deccan has bagged the contract to start service from Jamshedpur to Kolkata. Under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme , Air Deccan has agreed to start air service by September this year. Under the regional connectivity scheme termed UDAN, the Government is bringing the air service back to the steel city.

“We are here to inspect the facilities for starting the air service. The runway of the Sonari aerodrome is 1.2 KM long while the required runway for the aircraft available under UDAN scheme is 1.5 KM. We are studying possibilities and cannot divulge more,” said a member of the team.

As per the scheme, the Centre will subsidise the losses incurred by airlines flying out of dormant airports, to allow airlines to charge Rs 2,500 for an hour’s flight to passengers. About 80 percent of the subsidy will be collected by charging a levy of up to Rs 8,500 on each departing flight of domestic airlines and the rest 20 per cent will come from the respective state governments.

Incidentally, the Jharkhand government had signed an MoU with Union civil aviation ministry under the RCS in August 2016. As of now there is no regular air service from Jamshedpur to any other parts.

Jamshedpur debuted on the country’s air map in 2007 with Air Deccan linking the city to Calcutta, but was grounded soon as DGCA imposed load restrictions due to the short runway at Sonari Airport. Air Deccan used an ATR-32 flight then.

MDLR Kingfisher resumed connectivity in 2009 for a few months. Between August 2010 and February 2011, Deccan Charters flew a turboprop 19-seater aircraft, and DTDS Travels started a service in January 2012 but was forced to ground it in a few months, as high fares held back fliers.

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