Friday, August 11, 2017

HAL, Fairfax keen to reopen old airport

Bengaluru: Canadian billionnaire Prem Watsa-owned Fairfax Group, along with HAL, is gearing up for starting domestic flights from the old airport.

Fairfax, which recently became the single largest stakeholder in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), and HAL have initiated a dialogue in this regard.

Other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India, Director General of Civil Aviation and the Karnataka government are also involved in this initiative, sources familiar with the development told DH.

"Fairfax is looking at a solid business model so that operation of the old airport becomes viable. Besides running the airport, Fairfax is ready to get involved in operating a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility or a special economic zone (SEZ) for aerospace industries," said a government source privy to this development.

The possibility of HAL airport resuming operation for domestic flights is currently slim due to the concession agreement signed between the civil aviation ministry and private airport operator. As per the agreement, a second airport within a radius of 150 km from the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) at Devanahalli is not permitted. However, this clause is likely to be relaxed if Fairfax Group, which is operating KIA, does not oppose the move to operate a second airport.
11/08/17 NV Vijayakumar/Deccan Herald