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Land needed for M'lore airport expansion: Minister

Mangalore, March 18, 2013, DHNS: 2:57 IST

We will honour SC decision on compensation for crash victims: Ajit Singh

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh unveiling the plaque to mark the inauguration of air cargo complex and CUTE facilities at Mangalore airport on Monday. Union Minister for Petrol and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation 		K C Venugopal, Rajya Sabha member Oscar Fernandes and others look on. dh photo
About285 acre land is needed to expand the runway in Mangalore airport to provide a total length upto 3,400 metre needed for operating big aircraft, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh said on Monday.

The state government should make an effort to provide the land, he added after inaugurating air cargo complex and common user terminal equipment (CUTE) system, at Mangalore airport. He reiterated that the government will make all efforts to make “table top” Mangalore airport as safe as any other airport in India. “I am aware that there are some compensation issues which emerged after the air crash (in 2010). As the matter is likely to come up in the Supreme Court, we will always honour the decision of the Court,” he said.

The Minister said that there is a potential for increasing traffic from Mangalore particularly to Gulf countries. There has been growth rate of 6.4 per cent for domestic passenger traffic and 3.9 per cent for international passenger traffic. Traffic forecast indicates that there will be a passenger growth of 10.5 per cent and cargo growth of 12 to 15 per cent in the next five years. Air India has also drawn plans to start new service from Mangalore to Dammam twice a week from March 31.

Stating that his Ministry has given due importance to development of cargo related infrastructure, he said that under the plan, 24 airports have been selected for domestic cargo operations and requisite facility will be created after feasibility study. The air cargo complex facility will provide an opportunity to the exporters and help in generating employment in the region, he added.

Cargo hub

The Minister said that there has been a demand from the traders to create cargo hub and freight city in India. To develop the cargo hub, it is imperative to develop regional airports and establish cargo terminals to provide connectivity with metros in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. To achieve this, the AAI has already set up cargo terminals in Coimbatore, Trichy and Mangalore.

Union Minister for Petrol and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily called upon the people of the district to welcome the development. Air cargo complex was a long-pending demand of the people of the region and has been realised now.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal, Airports Authority of India Chairman V P Agarwal, MP Oscar Fernandes and others were present.

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