Mysuru airport appears to be heading closer to handling long-haul flights with the State government directing the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) to acquire 290 acres of land and hand it over to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for construction of an underpass beneath the runway and facilitate its extension.

The key to Mysuru airport handling long-haul flights and making air operations to the tourism city viable was extension of the runway from the existing 1,740 metres to 2,750 metres. But, the four-lane National Highway connecting Mysuru with the temple town of Nanjangud was proving to be a hurdle in the extension.

However, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) recently gave security clearance for allowing the National Highway to pass underneath the runway. Mysuru airport, along with Varanasi airport, are the only two airports in the country that have been permitted by the BCAS to have an underpass beneath the runway.

Meeting convened

In the wake of the permission, the AAI sent a proposal to the State government to acquire land for constructing the underpass. Sandeep Dave, Additional Chief Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, recently convened a meeting and directed the KIADB to acquire 290 acres of land for the purpose.

Mysuru Airport Director Manoj Kumar Singh told
The Hindu
the KIADB is expected to begin the process of acquiring land soon.

“Securing clearance for construction of the underpasswas a major hurdle”, said sources in AAI. However, no decision had been taken yet on whether National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) or AAI will construct the underpass.

Presently, ATR-sized aircraft, with a capacity of 65 to 70 passengers, are landing and taking off from Mysuru airport. If Mysuru is to be connected with destinations like Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, the runway has to be extended to 2,750 metres.

Private carrier Trujet is now operating flights from Mysuru to Chennai with the aircraft proceeding to Hyderabad. Though different private carriers had earlier operated flights from Mysuru to Bengaluru, they had soon discontinued due to poor passenger traffic.

Ever since Trujet launched its services under the regional air connectivity scheme of the Centre called UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagaraik) in September last year, there is decent traffic, said sources at Mysuru Airport.

Though long-haul flights are yet to be introduced from Mysuru airport, Mysuru Lok Sabha MP Pratap Simha said the city had been strategically connected by air to Chennai, which is well connected to various domestic and international destinations.

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