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NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Thursday granted aerodrome licence to Odisha’s Jeypore airport. The airport will now be able to handle scheduled commercial flights under the government’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN, or Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik.

The airstrip at Jeypore had became functional in 1962 at the time of inception of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at Sunabeda.

As of August 2022, Odisha has just one airport under UDAN - the Jharsuguda airport. Recently, the civil aviation ministry has been exploring more airstrips in Odisha for promoting wildlife and tourism in the state.

For the purpose of tourism, the ministry has considered Malkangiri and Hirakud under the next phase of UDAN. Similarly, the government has also considered Konark and Baripada in Odisha as an airstrip for promoting spiritual tourism in the state.

RCS-UDAN was formulated based on the review of The National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), 2016, and it was planned to remain in force for a period of 10 years. It has a self-financing mechanism with the development of Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF).

Under UDAN, 68 underserved/unserved destinations which include 58 Airports, eight heliports and two water aerodromes have been connected.

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