BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authority of India for the development, operation and maintenance of Kalaburagi airport.
The signing of the agreement would open the doors of the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in terms of aviation connectivity to Bengaluru and also to the entire country, the government said in a release.
It would facilitate overall economic development of backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region, that has been provided special status under article 371 J of the Constitution.
The MoU was signed between Karnataka Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (KSIIDC) on behalf of Government of Karnataka and Airports Authority of India (AAI) in the presence of Kalaburagi MP Umesh Jadhav, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar among others.
The state government had accorded its administrative approval for the development of Kalaburagi Airport on March 27, 2007.
Till now, a total expenditure of Rs 230 crore has been incurred on development and construction of Kalaburagi airport, the release said adding about Rs 22 crore has been spent on acquisition of 742 acres of land and Rs 208 crore for the construction work.
The development works of the airport have been undertaken by the Public Works department along with the technical guidance from M/s RITESIndia Pvt Ltd.
The works were nearing completion and the first trial run of flights has been conducted during August 2018.
Kalaburagi Airport has been qualified for operations during the third round of bidding/selection under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN (RCS-3.0), the release said.
Alliance Air and Godhavath Air Pvt. Ltd. have been qualified as "Selected Airline Operator (SAO)" for Kalaburagi-Bangalore-Kalaburagi, Kalaburagi-Hindan-Kalaburagi, Kalaburagi-Tirupati-Kalaburagi routes.
The development of Kalaburagi Airport had commenced in 2007 on PPP mode by Gulbarga Airport Developers Limited [GADL a consortium of Maytas Infra Ltd, NCC Infra Holdings & VIE India] and had invested Rs 25 crore, a top official said.
As GADL could not complete the works and accordingly and the contract was terminated, following which the state government took up the task.
Recently, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa during his Delhi visit had submitted a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his date in September for the inaugural of the airport.
He had also met the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri and requested him to complete the MoU formalities for AAI take over of the airport at the earliest.