Thursday, August 10, 2017

UDAN provides new hope for defence airports in Bengaluru

The Civil Aviation Ministry's aggressive promotion of the regional connectivity scheme (UDAN) is providing some hope for defence airports in Bengaluru and Bidar to resume operations for small passenger aircraft. The recent “no-objection“ from the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) board to the Hosur airport in Tamil Nadu to operate five flights a week is being seen as a positive step in this direction.

The HAL airport in the city and the Bidar airport have not been able to benefit from the phenomenal growth in the civil aviation sector in recent years because of a clause in the concession agreement the Civil Aviation Ministry has signed with private airport operators. This clause seeks to protect private investors by barring a second airport for commercial flights within a radius of 150 km. The Fairfax Group-controlled BIAL and the GMR Group-controlled Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad have not allowed HAL and Bidar airports, in that order, to host commercial flights.
10/08/17 KR Balasubramanyam/Economic Times