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ରାଉରକେଲା ବିମାନ ବନ୍ଦର
|Operator||Steel Authority of India Limited|
|Elevation AMSL||656 ft / 200 m|
Rourkela Airport (IATA: RRK, ICAO: VERK) is a private airport located near Chhend Colony, 6 kilometres west of the steel city of Rourkela in the state of Odisha. It is the only airport of the Metropolitan area of Rourkela city. It is mostly used by dignitaries visiting Rourkela, especially officials of Steel Authority of India Limited(SAIL) and other V.I.Ps.The planes from this airport also travel to the city of Kolkata. It is now ready to several direct flights within India. Its terminus is now under the preparation for the proper facilities.
The airstrip was constructed by the Tata Iron and Steel Company in 1950s for the purpose of carrying officials of the company, who regularly visited the area to survey and supervise the transportation of dolomite and other minerals from the district of Sundargarh for their industry. Small planes used to fly daily between Rourkela and Jamshedpur carrying the officials between these two steel cities.
In 1961, this airport was taken by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). With the construction of the new airport, Vayudoot started Flight PF-715 flying daily between Ranchi and Kolkata via Rourkela. Also another flight between Ranchi and Bhubaneswar via Rourkela used to operate in the late '80s. Air services to Rourkela were stopped in early '90s when Vayudoot suffered heavy losses and reduced its operations from serving 105 airports to just 45 airports. In 1994 the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) took control of the airport from AAI. The airport is still used by SAIL to receive its private jets.
A three-member survey team of AAI that made a spot assessment of the Rourkela airstrip in October 2007 to find out the feasibility of re-introduction of air connectivity to the city expressed satisfaction over the existing infrastructure. Air Odisha (AOAPL) started charter flights flying everyday between Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Bhubaneswar to Kolkata on 1 November 2012. Finally the golden era of domestic flights from Rourkela had started, by mid-2013 regular flights from Rourkela to BBSR and Kolkata had become easy and convenient for the domestic passengers.
Airlines and destinations
- "AAI Checks up on Rourkela air strip". 6 October 2007. Retrieved 16 Feb 2012.
- "Air Odisha introduces flights to industrial towns in state". 2 November 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- UDAN to take off from Rourkela airport- The New Indian Express