The long-dream of the people of western Odisha materialised on November 2 with a plane landing at the Jharsuguda airport, one of the oldest, in India. The airport was operational till 1978.
Keeping pace with the demand due to industrial growth, the Air Odisha launched air services to Jharsuguda and Rourkela from Bhubaneswar with a nine-seated plane. The service would be extended to Raipur in Chhattisgarh from November 9.
Jharsuguda district Collector Bishnu Prasad Sahu welcomed the flight and its passengers. A longstanding demand of the people (in the region) was fulfilled, said Sahu. The airport and its runway would be expanded further, he added.
This airport situated in a sprawling area of 330 acres was established by the British Government in 1937. It played a crucial role during the Second World War that ended in 1945. Also in 1971, during the Indo-Pak war for liberation of Bangladesh, 25 warplanes had landed in Jharsuguda and were kept ready for air attack whenever required.
Commercial planes were also landing here regularly for taking mails from 1975 to 1978. But it was closed due to the alleged conspiracy of senior officials of the Airport Authorities of India in Kolkata.