Make Mysore airport work, MP urges BSY

Infosys staff can make flights viable, says H Viswanath

The MP briefed Yeddyurappa on a meeting held here on December 17 in which stakeholders from the region who participated and demanded that the government assure private airlines a minimum guarantee to operate flights in initial stages.

He also wanted removal or reduction in sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for flights which operate to and from Mysore.

Beneficial for 800 techies

Vishwanath quoted Arun Nayar, HRD head of Infosys Mysore division, as saying that nearly 800 employees of the software company traveled from Mysore to other destinations every week.

If the airport became operational, a majority of them would fly, he said and added that each month, 500 to 800 employees fly to other Infosys centres in India and abroad from Mysore. International clients of the company, who visited the Infosys campus in Bangalore were not able to travel to Mysore because of absence of air connectivity. He added that in the near future, the Infosys Mysore staff strength may go up to 18,000.

Increasing tourist inflow

Viswanath noted the statement of Karnataka tourism assistant director N Jayaram who has said that the tourist inflow into Mysore was going up by a lakh every year to reach 27 lakh in 2009 and added that the tourist traffic may touch 50 lakh in 6-7 years.

Mysore was getting about 70,000 foreign tourists a year. Because of these reasons,
there was no doubt about the financial viability of Mysore airport.

Vishwanath also quoted an official of the Airports Authority of India as saying that the chartered flights during the Dasara festivities were a hit but added that the airline operators had not responded positively to start flights to Mysore.

This was because they were expecting incentives from the State Government by way of reduction in ST on ATF which was now 27%, among the highest in the country. AAI has so far recommended Mysore-Chennai and Goa-Mysore-Kochi routes from the tourism point of view.

The MP urged the Chief Minister to constitute a committee of stakeholders to expedite operations and meet the civil aviation minister regarding this.

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