BENGALURU: Offering a much needed impetus to the development of North Karnataka, the state cabinet on Thursday gave the green signal for the Vijayapura airport. If plans go as per schedule, the first flight here will take off in early 2022.
The airport, to come up 15 km from Vijayapura city, is located on 727 acres of land in Buranapura and Madhubavi villages.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Deputy Chief Minister Govind M Karjol said that clearance has been given for the first phase of the Rs 220-crore airport. “Phase-I will cost Rs 95 crore and has been given a deadline of 18 months. Runway, airport terminal building taxiway and apron will be constructed as part of this Phase. We can begin commercial operations as soon as the phase is ready,” he said. “Operations with ATR-72 type aircraft with a seating capacity of 70 passengers can begin after that,” Karjol added.
The second phase, to cost Rs 125 crore, will be implemented after operations commence, Karjol said.
The State Infrastructure Development is carrying out the project with the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) serving as the nodal agency for the project. The State Public Works Department will implement it.
A senior government official said, “Once the airport is in place, the region will see faster development in industry and tourism and boost job opportunities,” an official said. “The runway planned now will run to 1900 m length. The airport can handle about 200 passengers in peak hours when it is ready. It will be expanded in future to operate larger aircraft (Boeing 737/Airbus A 320) depending on the demand,” he added.
It will provide air services under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN), the official said.
The airport was first approved by the state government in March 2007 but met numerous hurdles and the project came to a halt in 2012.