'Rs 80 cr proposal to develop Mangalore airport'

Airport sector requires a total of $20 billion investment over the next decade, in addition to the $10 billion already committed in the last 5 years. It is predicted by 2020, domestic traffic will reach 300 million passengers per annum and international traffic will exceed 100 million, he said.

Speaking on planned works for Mangalore Airport, he said that the runway is 8,100 ft at present and it requires extension up to 10000 ft to get huge aircraft to land and hence get the international status.

The parallel taxi track will also come up and Rs 80 crore proposal has been submitted, Provision of cargo terminal will be made in the old airport and the domestic cargo transport may kick off by December but the international cargo transport may take some time as discussions on custom duty is taking place. ATC tower automation is planned, he said and added that political decisions also matter on the implementation of works.

He informed that WTC reveals that by 2020, tourism in India could contribute Rs 8,50,000 crores to the GDP. The Indian tourism sector is expected to generate $42.8 billion by 2017, a 42 per cent surge from 2007, he said and added that 97 per cent of the country’s foreign tourists arrive by air.

Airports Authority of India managed 139 airports in which 17 are international, 8 are custom, 81 are domestic, 25 are civil enclaves and 8 CNS/ATM.

As much as 2.8 million sq NM is the airspace managed by AAI. There has been an increase of 0.6 per cent in the number of aircraft movement and 14 per cent increase in the passengers and 21.1 per cent in the cargo handled in tons, he said. Indian Overseas Bank Chairman N Narendra stressed on tapping tourism potential in the district.

 Mangalore being an educational hub and land of historic importance with many temples can attract tourists. Medical tourism is also on high with the medical facilities available here, he said and spoke on the importance of a long term vision for Mangalore’s development.

KCCI President Latha Kini submitted a memorandum to D Devaraj asking for international airport status, air cargo complex by October and nomenclature of Mangalore airport to be changed to U Srinivas Mallya airport.

Karnataka Bank Chairman Ananthakrishna said Mangalore has several unique selling points and it needs to be marketed well. Be it Udupi Idli, Brinjal, jasmine and pappads made of jackfruit, one cannot find these things anywhere else and even these can USPs, he said. He also requested that as business class travelers pay a lot on their ticket, special quick security arrangements should be made for them.

Mangalore airport had 2.5 lakh air travelers in 2001 and today it has risen to 8.5 lakhs. The airport has made a profit of 10 crores, said Mangalore Airport Director M R Vasudeva.MLA Abhayachandra Jain presided over the programme.

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