Monday, March 02, 2020

Karnataka takes wing

Bengaluru: The stage is set for Karnataka to push for regional air connectivity for the common man to avail flight services at affordable costs to travel between tier -II and III cities within the region.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) came up with UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)-RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) on June 15, 2016, aiming to let the common man fly by making air travel affordable and to boost economy, job growth and air transport infrastructure.
According to Synergia Foundation, a Bengaluru-based strategic think-tank, Karnataka has a huge potential with a long list of airports to be developed under RCS. It listed 21 potential airports that can be brought under RCS including New Bellary Airport, Bidar Air Force Station, Vijayapura, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Shivamogga(see graphic).

Besides, talks are on for resuming civil flights from HAL Airport in Bengaluru, and Mangaluru’s business sector has demanded bringing Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) -- the only other international airport apart from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Karnataka --under UDAN.

Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar said, “We want HAL Airport for short-haul flights. Domestic flights up to a distance of 500km can be operated from here to benefit air travellers who want to reach, say, Mysuru by flight.”

Currently, 14 flights are operated by airlines from Belagavi, including 10 under UDAN-3. By April, at least 20 flights are expected to be operated from Belagavi. Last month, TruJet launched three flights connecting Belagavi with Tirupati, Mysuru and Hyderabad under UDAN-3 and added another to Kadapa on Sunday. TruJet has been allotted five routes under UDAN-3. Star Air, owned by Sanjay Ghodawat, is operating three flights under UDAN-3 connecting Ahmedabad, Indore and Mumbai to Belagavi. As per UDAN-3 bidding, Star Air is expected to connect six more destinations in the next few months.
02/03/20 Nirad Mudur/New Indian Express
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