Friday, November 15, 2019

Kalaburagi Airport scheduled to be inaugurated on November 22

Hubballi: In addition to Bengaluru, three urban centres generally referred to as tier-II cities have airports – Mysuru, Mangaluru and Hubballi. Consequently, the existence of airports has resulted in boosting the economy of these districts. However, none of the districts comprising Kalyana Karnataka, the least developed region in the state, had an airport, till now. After a protracted wait, the Kalaburagi Airport is slated for inauguration on November 22, with a flight to Bengaluru, operated by a private carrier, formally launching operations at the terminal.
Stakeholders in the industrial sector are hopeful of the trajectory of Kalyana Karnataka’s development arc taking flight with the inauguration of the airport in Kalaburagi. Spread across 740 acres, the airport has been developed at an estimated cost of Rs 175.57 crore. Regular flight service to Bengaluru is expected to bring in an influx of capital to the backward region.

The people of Kalyana Karnataka had been waiting for long for operations at the Kalaburagi Airport to commence. Approved in March 2007 by the state government, the task of developing the airport was entrusted to a private company under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, and, according to the original schedule, it was to be completed in 2012. However, the private concern failed to complete the airport on time, citing technical reasons for the delay. In 2014, the state government terminated its contract with the agency in question, and the Karnataka public works department (PWD) was handed the task of seeing the project to its conclusion. PWD extended the runway, which had been only 1.9km-long when the department took over the reins of the project, to 3.2km.

In August this year, a flight from the Asia Pacific Flight Training Academy’s squadron carried out a trial landing on the airport’s runway, following which the authorities concerned gave the nod to start commercial operations at the terminal. This was subsequently followed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) assuming charge of the terminal’s management. Under the Centre’s UDAAN scheme, flights will be operated between Kalaburagi and Bengaluru.

Kalaburagi deputy commissioner B Sharat told TOI that they had made all the necessary arrangements to ensure for the inaugural ceremony of the airport.
15/11/19 Basavaraj Kattimani/Times of India
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