Bokaro: Construction work for the Bokaro airport expansion project, which was launched two years ago, has hit another roadblock because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The airport was originally expected to begin flight operations in July this year.
State civil aviation director captain S P Sinha said, “Initially, land acquisition and encroachments around the project site were the main reasons for the delay. Now, the pandemic has hit the construction work.”
However, only 40% construction is left, Sinha said but admitted that several key areas of work are pending.
He said, “Almost 60% work has been completed but there are many which are pending. Construction of ATC tower, terminal building, isolated bay, periphery roads and others are on. The work got stalled during the lockdown but it has gradually resumed. Once these are completed, we will have to obtain a licence from the DGCA to begin flight operations.”
Sinha added, “The fencing work of the airport is also almost done.”
The central and state governments launched the Bokaro airport expansion plan for operation of commercial flights under Phase-II of Udan, the regional connectivity scheme of the Centre. It is one of the four airports developed in Jharkhand under the scheme. Former chief minister Raghubar Das and former minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, jointly laid foundation for the expansion project on August 25, 2018.
The airport is owned and maintained by Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL), a unit of the Steel Authority of India. BSL is jointly upgrading the airport with the Airport Authority of India (AAI).