Logistics

Special purpose vehicle suggested for Mangalore airport's runway extension

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on March 13, 2011

Mr N. Yogish Bhat, Deputy Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly

Users of the Mangalore airport, especially non-resident Indians (NRI), have suggested to the Union and the State Governments that they implement the runway extension work by forming a special purpose vehicle.

(To get international status, the runway at the airport needs to be extended by another 1,000 ft. The present runway length is 8,000 ft. To extend it, another 250 acres of land is to be acquired, and a valley is to be filled, requiring huge investments.)

Stakeholders

In a memorandum to the Union Government at the inauguration of the diamond jubilee celebrations of Mangalore airport, Mr Pascal Pinto, coordinator of the Kuwait-based United Associations of Karnataka (an NRI forum), suggested that the special purpose vehicle will help develop airport infrastructure, and will also help develop tourism and industry in and around the region.

The filling up of the valley will help extend the runway to 13,000 ft, he said.

The Union Government, the State Government, the Airports Authority of India and NRIs could be the stakeholders in this project, he said.

Mr N. Yogish Bhat, Deputy Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, said private-public partnership could be considered for the extension of runway.

Stressing the need for the speedy implementation of the work, he said the Karnataka Budget for 2011-12 has sanctioned Rs 15 crore for the runway extension work.

Diamond jubilee

The users of the airport, under the banner of Mangalore Airport Diamond Jubilee Celebration Committee, began the celebrations here on Sunday. Mr Vayalar Ravi, Union Civil Aviation Minister, who was supposed to inaugurate the event, did not attend.

Mr M. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Law and Justice, inaugurated the celebrations on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry also submitted a memorandum to the Central Government seeking the extension of runway and construction of a parallel taxiway, among other things.

Stressing the need for declaring Mangalore's airport an international airport, Mr G.G. Mohandas Prabhu, President of the chamber, said even though Air India Express is operating flights between Mangalore and Gulf destinations, the airport has not been declared as an international airport.

In order to find a place in international airline route map, it is necessary to declare it as an international airport, he said.

The chamber also sought the Centre's permission to handle air cargo complex at the old terminal building of the airport.

Name after mallya

The airport should be named after late U.S. Mallya, who conceptualised and helped build Mangalore airport during his tenure as Member of Parliament of the region, it said.

Mr Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, spoke on the occasion. Mr M.R. Vasudeva, Director of Mangalore Airport, and Mr Ramnath Pradeep, Chairman and Managing Director of Corporation Bank, were present on the occasion.

The diamond jubilee celebrations will conclude on December 21, 2011. The airport was inaugurated on December 21, 1951, by the Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Published on March 13, 2011

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