BANGALORE: Land acquisition controversies have dominated headlines for quite some time now. And in a bid to work around the controversies and shortage of land, the state government is planning to build airports on land of just 100 acres. The Infrastructure Development Department is currently carrying out surveys in three districts of Gadag, Chikmagalur and Raichur, for expanding air operations in the state. Officials said the proposals would be completed in the next two months. They also said small airports were conceived for operating chartered aircraft and other small 8-10 seater aircraft.
“Gulbarga airport will open by May and Shimoga airport will be opened by July this year,” Rajkumar Khatri, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka, said. He told Express that the two airports would also be expanded since their capacity was on the rise and they promised fast connectivity to these regions. Connectivity to the airports in Mysore, Belgaum and Hubli had been impacted as the sole operator, Kingfisher, had cut the frequency and also stopped operations to these areas owing to their financial crisis.
“Belgaum airport and Hubli airports would be expanded at an estimated cost of `150 crore each by the Airports Authority of India (AAI),” he said.
On Tuesday, the Planning Commission projected a requirement of 30 functional airports within the next five years and nearly 180 in the next decade. The Planning Commission said passenger terminal capacity in most of the airports was expected to be between 230-240 million in the current year.