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Union minister of state for civil aviation to visit city

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Jamshedpur: Jamshedpur Citizen Forum (JCF) is taking initiative to re-connect the air service in the city.

A delegation will soon meet Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha with support from 45 social groups, commercial, trade and professional bodies for flight connectivity between Jamshedpur-Ranchi and Jamshedpur- Kolkata.

President of JCF and a BJP leader, A. K Srivastava recently met the Union minister at Hazaribagh. He received assurance about a visit to the city after Durga Puja.

The forum will present before the minister a strong credible claim for putting city into the map amongst cities under Union civil aviation ministry regional connectivity scheme (RCS), under which an-hour-long flights up to 500 km-600 km between two airports, of which at least one has been declared by the central government as unserved or underserved with an airfare cap of Rs 2500.

“I met the Union minister and informed him that the forum would be presenting a list of social, commercial and professional bodies support along with corporate bodies about significant number of passengers for the flight service per trip from Jamshedpur.

We can assure that a minimum of eight passengers would be available per day for flight between Jamshedpur to Kolkata and Jamshedpur to Ranchi so that Union ministry can approach a private airline service and convince of the commercial viability of a flight service under RCS,” said Srivastava, an industrialist.

The JCF president further said that positive response has come so far from Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jamshedpur Hoteliers Association, Laghu Udyog Bharti and even Confederation of Indian Industry city chapter.

“The minister assured me that he would be coming to city after Durga puja and would be intimating us about his plan soon. He would visit along with state government senior bureaucrats about possibility of opening an international airport near Kandra (in Seraikela-Kharsawan district).

However, till the airport is constructed we would like to impress upon the minister about starting regional connectivity between city, Ranchi and Kolkata especially flights with 18-seater capacity can easily operate from city as per DGCA norms,” said Srivastava.

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

Jamshedpur had debuted on the country’s air map in 2007 with Air Deccan linking the city to Calcutta, but the service came to an end soon.

Then, MDLR Kingfisher resumed connectivity in 2009, albeit for a few months. On August 17, 2010, Deccan Charters hired a turboprop 19-seater aircraft with a fare of Rs 5,000, but services ended in February 2011.

So far, Jamshedpur’s air connectivity has been confined to Kolkata. There have been occasional services to Ranchi but the same has had to be suspended owing to passenger disinterest.

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