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Jamshedpur expected to come on air map soon

Team studies feasibility of starting flight service at Sonari airport

Jamshedpur, June 8: East Singhbhum district administration, local civic body (JNAC) and Tata Steel aviation department officials on Friday conducted a study of the Sonari Airport runway to find out feasibility of starting flight service as part of regional connectivity scheme.

According to information, the team inspected the Sonari airstrip and studied the obstacle limitation surface survey report done in the airstrip by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2015 and also visited some nearby areas coming under the funnel areas of the airport.

The idea is to ensure maximum utilization of the existing runway at the Sonari Airport and start flight service under regional connectivity scheme.

“We are going to file a report based on the findings of the physical verifications of the funnel area of the Sonari Airport. East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amit Kumar will submit a report during the June 11 meeting called by union civil aviation secretary, R N Choubey at Delhi to find out feasibility of starting flights under regional connectivity scheme between Jamshedpur and Kolkata.

The meeting would also be attended by representatives of DGCA, AAI, secretary civil aviation Rahul Sharma and Air Deccan officials,” said an official.

Amit Kumar, the deputy commissioner said that Chennai-based Go Soft e Solutions (P) Limited, has been asked by DGCA to conduct survey of the funnel zone.

Air Deccan which had bagged bid under Regional Connectivity Scheme for Jamshedpur- Kolkata route and was scheduled to start the flight in February this year, suddenly postponed their plans citing load restrictions imposed by DGCA for operation of a 19-seater aircraft (hired by Air Deccan).

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.

“As per our plans the private firm will file its report directly to DGCA, AAI on June 20. The DGCA officials during their last visit to Sonari Airport had also suggested to the Air Deccan on starting flights with carrying lesser number of passengers than the permissible limit of the aircraft after maximum utilization of the Sonari Airport strip. The Air Deccan authorities will have to present a report on commercial viability after load penalty on their 19-seater aircraft,” added Amit Kumar.

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