Friday, September 15, 2017

Upgraded Belagavi Airport opened

Belagavi: India is witnessing aviation boom as many airlines are ordering new planes. The sector can grow faster if the companies focus on cargo. The world’s biggest aviation companies operate cargo, not passenger services, Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.

Raju, along with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, inaugurated the upgraded Belagavi Airport on Thursday. Raju said the Centre was willing to work with states for the development of airports and infrastructure. In Karnataka alone, Rs 627 crore worth of works have been implemented, including Rs 140.11 crore for Belagavi Airport, Rs 120.71 crore for Hubballi, Rs 253.71 crore for Mangaluru and Rs 90 crore for Bengaluru.

Raju said there was immense scope for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centres, which was a $700-million business. Engineers from India work at MRO companies abroad.

Indian aircraft go to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Dubai, etc for MRO. The service could be provided in the country itself. Air India’s MRO at Nagpur recently received its first Spicejet aircraft for service, he added.

Siddaramaiah said the state government had been supporting Central projects by giving free land for the establishment of airports and railway facilities. It has also set up a company to contribute half the cost of railway projects. In South India, Karnataka tops in air passengers with 98,574 fliers in 2016-17, he added.
15/09/17 Deccan Herald

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