Patna: The Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport or Patna airport saw the arrival of the first flight under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme to boost regional air connectivity on Thursday with the landing of a Jet Airways flight from Allahabad at 8.52am.
Patna airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria said: “With the Allahabad-Patna flight, our airport enters into the regional connectivity scheme UDAN of the Union government. It is an ATR 72 (twin-engine turboprop short-haul airliner developed and produced in Europe).”
The 72-seater aircraft landed here from Allahabad with 50 passengers, while 19 boarded it as it returned to Allahabad. Two passengers – Shreya Saurav and her daughter Shanaya Saurav – became the first passengers to receive the boarding pass at the Patna airport.
Lahauria added that the Jet Airways flight will operate thrice a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays – connecting Patna-Allahabad-Lucknow sectors. With the new flight, the number of arrivals and departures has now gone up to 45 each.
The airport director revealed that yet another flight between Pune and Patna is being introduced from July 1.
It will be a day flight and will fly on the Mumbai-Pune-Patna-Calcutta-Patna-Mumbai sectors daily.
However, the introduction of new flights will further cram the airport, which is already a constrained one because of lack of space inside the terminal building as well as a short runway and less space for parking the aircraft.
The airport at present has a capacity to accommodate around 600 passengers at a time, including 200 in the check-in area and 350 in the security hold-up area. Over 8,000 passengers arrive at the Patna airport daily, which is going to shoot up as the total number of flights is expected to rise to 49 during this summer.
Courtesy: The Telegraph