Tamil Nadu is keen to set up an airport in Hosur in Krishnagiri district with Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd issuing a Request for Proposal to select a consultant. But, is an airport in Hosur necessary considering the terrain and that Bengaluru international airport is just less than 75 km? Views are mixed.
“I don’t think the terrain is suitable and there are far too many structures,” said a source. However, considering that Krishnagiri is one of the most industrialised districts in the State, the district needs an airport, said another.
Hosur is home to major manufacturing industries including Ashok Leyland, Titan, TVS Motors, Caterpillar, Sundaram Fasteners and Schaffler.
More recently, Ola set up a huge e-vehicle factory in the Krishnagiri district. Tata Electronics will invest ₹5,763 crore (creating 18,250 jobs) in Krishnagiri district to manufacture mobile phone components. Further, Delta Electronics and Mylan units are coming up in Kurubarapalli. Next big ones are TVS Motors and Cheyyar SEZ (footwear) company, said sources. A full-fledged airport will help in movement of people from and to the district, else they have to travel to Bengaluru or Chennai, said a source.
Hosur aerodrome is located at Belagondapalli 10 km south-west of Hosur. The airfield owned by Taneja aerospace and aviation Limited (TAAL), was established in 1994 as the first private sector company to manufacture General Aviation aircraft in India. TAAL uses the airfield for its Aircraft Manufacturing, Sales and MRO businesses.
The aerodrome, approved and licensed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation under private use category, houses MRO facilities of Air Works India and widebody aircraft painting facilities of Air Livery. Many Indian carriers like SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara send their aircraft to Hosur for 'C' checks and 1200 hours inspections by Air Works Ltd, and for painting done by Air Livery, according to information in the Web. Tamil Nadu has four international airports at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Madurai and two domestic airports at Thoothukudi and Salem. Considering the traffic growth and major demand drivers such as industrial growth, regional economic growth, tourism, growth in per capita incomes, in the north-west region of Tamil Nadu, the State government intends to develop an airport in Hosur.
The State government is in the process of identifying a site in Hosur for setting up an airport. TIDCO proposes to undertake the study on air traffic and demand assessment in the region and identification of potential sites in Hosur for setting up an Airport through a consultant, says the RFP document. B Govindarajan, COO, Tirwin Management Services (P) Ltd, an aviation consultancy firm, said the very thought of an airport at Hosur is quite encouraging. Businesses need connectivity. So, the once used argument of not allowing another airport closer to a greenfield airport is not acceptable especially in this case, the existing airport is in the neighbouring state of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu certainly has the right and aspiration to have an airport in Hosur to propel more economic activity in that region.
“Even the businesses in South Bangalore like Electronic City and neighbouring areas, will find Hosur airport more convenient in terms of costs and time. Apart from expected passenger traffic, Hosur can truly become an international air cargo hub for West Tamil Nadu” Govindarajan, he said.