Sunday, August 30, 2020

Belagavi’s hopes for int’l airport yet to materialise

Belagavi: Even a year after putting forth a request to launch international air operations from Belagavi airport at Sambra, it is yet to be fulfilled.
In 2019, MP and minister of state for railways Suresh Angadi had met the managing director of Air India to press for flights to Dubai. The requested route for the operations is Goa-Belagavi-Dubai. The flights can be operated twice or thrice a week, depending upon demand. The people from the Mumbai-Karnataka region either travel to Goa or Bengaluru to fly to Dubai. Belagavi airport is the second busiest in Karnataka, according to the last three months data.

Setting up a cargo area to facilitate exports and imports and expanding infrastructure to match international norms could be more or less sufficient to launch the services. Krishna Giriyannavar, an active citizen from Belagavi, said flights to Dubai are the need of the hour, as a good number of people travel there for work and tourism. The elected representatives have to work to bring Belagavi under the UDAN scheme, he said. He added that an Indian Institute of Technology did not materialise in Belagavi due to lack of political will, and that politicians should show commitment to realise this.

Suresh Angadi said that there was no follow up done after 2019 on international flights from Belagavi, and that a feasibility study has to be conducted before coming up with the service. Air India looks into commercial, tourism and trade feasibility before venturing into a new service. “We need demand from people, and flights can operate on the Belagavi-Goa-Dubai or Goa-Belagavi-Dubai routes. The density of people travelling to Goa from Kerala before moving to Dubai or vice-versa, traffic from the Mumbai-Karnataka region and prospects of import and exports is what matters,” he said.
30/08/20 Shreyas HS/Times of India
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