Bhubaneswar: The Shree Jagannath International Airport project in Puri has received a major boost with the approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to divert 27.85 hectares (68.81 acres) of deemed forest land. The project is expected to cost around Rs 5,631 crore and will be located in Sipasarubali and Sandhapur under Brahmagiri tehsil.
The project has been granted site clearance by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the state government is now in the process of appointing a consultant to prepare a detailed project report (DPR). The DPR will then be submitted to the steering committee on greenfield airports for in-principle approval.
The need for an international airport in Puri has arisen due to the city’s development into a world-class heritage destination. Additionally, the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar is already nearing its design capacity limit. In 2022-23, BPIA handled 3.62 million passengers, making it the 17th busiest airport in India and the 11th busiest among non-metro cities.
In a significant development, the Ministry of Defence has allotted 160.35 acres of land in Rasgovindpur to the state government for the further development and infrastructure enhancement of the World War II-era airstrip.