GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) has signed a concession agreement to commission, operationalise and maintain the civilian enclave at the Bidar airport in North Karnataka.

This comes under the government’s regional connectivity – UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) – scheme.

GHIAL is expected to start operations in the first week of this month with one daily flight connecting Bidar with Bengaluru.

SGK Kishore, Executive Director–South, GMR Airports and CEO–GHIAL, said: “The operationalisation of Bidar airport is a testimony to our commitment to support the government’s flagship regional connectivity scheme. We are very pleased to partner with the Government of Karnataka for all-round development of Bidar and nearby regions and we are confident that the start of commercial operations at Bidar will provide a boost to the local economy through better connectivity for the people of Bidar and the large number of tourists who visit the area.”

Located in the north-eastern part of Karnataka, Bidar city is the headquarters of the Bidar district and is home to important religious shrines and historic monuments including Guru Nanak Jhira Sahib, which is one of the holiest sites of the Sikh religion in this part of the country. Bidar is also renowned for Bidriware metal handicraft products, which have been recognised with the coveted Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

Coming up: Airport cities

GMR Group’s airport portfolio has around 325 million passenger capacity in operation and under development, comprising India’s busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, and the Mactan Cebu International Airport in partnership with Megawide in the Philippines.

The group’s greenfield projects under development includes the airport at Mopa in Goa and the airport at Heraklion, Crete, Greece in partnership with GEK Terna. The GMR-Megawide consortium has won the Clark International Airport’s EPC project, the second project in the Philippines. The Group recently received a Letter of Intent for the development and operation of the Nagpur airport on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis and development and operation of a greenfield airport at Bhogapuram in Andhra Pradesh. The group is developing ‘airport cities’ on the commercial land available around its airports in Delhi, Hyderabad and Goa.

GHIAL is a joint venture promoted by the GMR Group (63 per cent) in partnership with the Airports Authority of India (13 per cent), the Government of Telangana (13 per cent) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11 per cent).