Jamshedpur: Tata Steel, the world’s sixth largest maker of the alloy, plans to build an airport here to improve air connectivity from the city to other parts of the country, company managing director B Muthuraman said on 26 August.
The company has already located land at Adityapur in adjoining Saraikela-Kharswan district for the airport, which will have a 7,000-ft-long runway. “However, everything is not in our hands,” Muthuraman said.
He was speaking on the occasion of the inaugural Kolkata-Jamshedpur flight of Air Deccan at Sonari aerodrome, marking the centenary celebrations of the first private steel plant of the country.
Asked why Tata Steel was not keen on in upgrading the existing aerodrome, Muthuraman said there were restrictions in doing that.
The proposed airport would help the steel city to bring business here and help it to grow faster, he said.
Appreciating Air Deccan, he said Tata Steel had taken the initiative to start air connectivity between Jamshedpur and Kolkata and discussed with many players. Things materialised with Air Deccan following negotiations during the past one-and-a-half years, Muthuraman said.
The association of Tatas with aviation is not new. Tatas were the pioneers in starting commercial flights in India through Tata Airlines under the stewardship of JRD Tata. The group has always been passionate about aviation and this initative by Air Deccan has now put Jamshedpur on the air travel map, he said.
To make Air Deccan’s operations viable, Tata Steel will underwrite a certain percentage of seats in each flight, Muthuraman said.
The 48-seater ATR-42 500 plane, which brought Tata Steel’s guests, officials and mediamen, was flagged off by Muthuraman for its return flight to Kolkata.
Initially, the low-cost carrier will operate one flight a day and later on it will operate morning and evening flights, Air Deccan CEO Ramki Sundaram said.