Yesterday in New Delhi, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) signed an Operation and Management (O & M) agreement to facilitate commercial operations from Rourkela, Odisha.
SAIL and AAI Sign MOU
SAIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2018 to use its own airport for commercial flight operations under the RCS UDAN scheme. SAIL has now signed an O&M contract with AAI through its Rourkela Steel Plant in order to facilitate the start of commercial flights from Rourkela. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has provided financial assistance for the airport's upgrade. Odisha's government will provide security, fire, and ambulance services, as well as assistance with other local clearances. The airport will be operated and managed by AAI on behalf of SAIL-Rourkela Steel Plant.
Rourkela Airport, Odisha
All air travellers from the industrial town of Rourkela and the surrounding areas will benefit from the airport. The start of air services is also significant in light of the upcoming Hockey World Cup, which will be held in Rourkela in January 2023, with Rourkela hosting 20 of the total 44 matches. This global event will draw a large number of visitors to Rourkela during the period, and air connectivity to the city will be critical for logistical reasons.
SAIL, one of the country's largest steel companies and a 'Maharatna' CPSE, has been actively involved in developing areas surrounding its production facilities. This public-interest endeavour is likely to boost economic activity in this region.