'Under Udan-2, more flight operations likely from Hubballi'

'Under Udan-2, more flight operations likely from Hubballi'

Official inauguration of the upgraded Hubballi Airport and launch of tri-weekly air service on Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mumbai route on Tuesday also raised a hope about getting more flights from Hubballi to other important cities in coming days.

Terming Hubballi Airport very potential to have air connectivity with other major cities across the country, Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju noted that connecting Hubballi with Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Cochin, Goa, Tirupati, Delhi and other places are expected through the second bidding under 'Udan' regional connectivity scheme.

Speaking after inaugurating the upgraded airport, he stated that more flights would operate from here if people extend support and if flights fly with full occupancy.

If more people travel in flights, more flights would come, and air fare would also come down due to competition. If the Mumbai flight operates with full occupancy, it would definitely become a daily flight, he added.

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha noted that 30 airports including Mysuru and Vidyanagar in Karnataka are given air connectivity under 'Udan' scheme. He also noted that the State Government is extending full co-operation for the efforts to develop airports.

'Hubballi potential'

Union Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar observed that Hubballi Airport has the potential to grow as an international airport in next five years, and it can also become an alternative airport for Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports, for night parking of aircrafts.

Hubballi can be developed as an air cargo hub. Agricultural produces in the region, and marine produces from the sea cost can be exported from this airport, having processing and packaging units here, and this would help the farmers. Air connectivity linking Mysuru, Hubballi, Goa, Belagavi, Bidar, Hosapete and Bengaluru would promote the tourism sector, he said.

The number of air passengers till 2014 was around 12 crore in the country, and it has increased to 20 crore now, Mr Ananth kumar added.

State govt's initiatives

Medium, Large & Infrastructure Development Minister R V Deshpande noted that the State Government is a partner in railway and airport projects.

We want to develop airports at Chikkamagalur, Kadur and Kumta. Development of several air strips is also being planned. Heli service from Bengaluru airport is also being introduced, and Kalaburagi airport would also be ready soon. The Union Government should show interest to start air service from Bidar airport, to start Hubballi-Vidyanagar (Toranagal) flight service, relaxing CRZ rules to boost tourism, and to start Mysuru-Goa flight, Mr Deshpande said.

District In-charge Minister Vinay Kulkarni, MP Pralhad Joshi and Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar urged Union ministers to take steps to make Mumbai flight a daily service, and to start Hubballi-Hyderabad flight also.

Mayor D K Chavan, MLA Aravind Bellad, MLC Pradeep Shettar, Zilla Panchayat President Chaitra Shirur, and others were present.

Earlier, a large-size national flag was hoisted in front of the new terminal, while students of S R Bommai Rotary School sang the national anthem.

Folk troupes also performed at the airport premises, while BJP workers moved in groups, raising slogans.

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