Muhurtha fixed for upgraded airport opening, Mumbai flight service

Muhurtha fixed for upgraded airport opening, Mumbai flight service

At last, the Muhurtha for officially dedicating the upgraded airport in the City for public service, and starting the much-awaited air service between Hubballi and Mumbai has been fixed.

Hubballi Airport which is upgraded at a cost of Rs 142 crore, with an expanded runway, new terminal, new air traffic control (ATC) tower, more parking area, and other facilities, is set to be thrown open for the use of air passengers on December 12, and on the same day, Air India will launch its Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mumbai air service also.

An airport of international standards having the ability to handle bigger and more aircrafts, and better air connectivity have always been considered as one of the essential infrastructure facility required to boost the economic development of this region. The process to upgrade the airport began in 2006, and later, the State Government handed over 600 acres of land to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) free of cost.

After 11 years since then, the upgraded airport with new terminal is now ready for inauguration. The expanded runway is already being used for flight operations. With the upgradation works getting completed, this airport has become the biggest airport of North Karnataka region.

According to MP Pralhad Joshi, delay in shifting the utilities in the airport area was a major reason for the delay in completing the airport upgradation works. The airport lacked flight service after Spice Jet stopped the service and also during the runway expansion work, before Air India started Bengaluru-Hubballi air service which is available now, he recalled.

Inauguration

Speaking to media persons here on Thursday, Mr Joshi stated that Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju would inaugurate the new terminal of the upgraded airport on December 12 at 11:30 am, and he would also flag off the Hubballi-Mumbai flight service at 1:20 pm.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayanth Sinha, Union Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar, and others would be present, while State Government representatives including the district in-charge minister would also be invited, he said, adding that Union ministers would travel from Hubballi to Mumbai in the inaugural flight itself.

More flights likely

Mr Joshi said, discussion is going on with private airlines companies to start air service from Hubballi to Hyderabad and Chennai too.

Udaan-2 scheme would be launched shortly, under which some airlines companies have shown interest to bid for Hubballi, he noted, adding that the upgraded airport can handle cargo flights also.

Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar stated that the Air India flight on Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mumbai route, and in the return direction would operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and efforts would be made to make it a daily flight.

Getting the slot at Mumbai airport was difficult, and there is lack of space for parking aircrafts. In future, aircrafts that do not get parking space there can come to Hubballi for parking, and that would improve the air connectivity here.

The occupancy rate of flights operating from here is also very good, Mr Shettar said, adding that opening upgraded airport and starting Mumbai flight service is the beginning of development of this sector in the region.

PM to be invited

Mr Joshi stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be invited to lay the foundation stone for IIT-Dharwad building, Hubballi-Haveri NH 4 six-laning work, and development of national highway on Tadas-Kalghatagi-Dharwad-Byahatti-Hebsur-Annigeri route.

MLC Pradeep Shettar, Mayor D K Chavan, Deputy Mayor Laxmibai Bijwad, and others were present. They also inspected the facilities developed at the new terminal of the airport.

 


What is special about upgraded airport?

* 957 acres total available land

* AAI spent Rs 142 cr for upgradation works

* Runway expanded from 1,674 metre to 2,600 metre

* 300 metre basic strip

* 3,600 sq mt new terminal building

* New apron for parking 3 aircrafts, isolation bay

* 2,060 sq mt ATC tower, technical block, fire station

* 12.8 km security wall, perimeter road, 17 security watch towers

* Sewage treatment plant

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