HYDERABAD: The decades-long dream of people in Warangal to have an airport in their own city, set to become a reality with the State government allocating another 250 acres to Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the purpose. Already, 700 acres has been allocated by the government.
The latest development shows the State’s commitment to construct an airport at Mamnoor near Warangal. It is learnt that the GMR Group which has built the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, is very likely to take up the construction of Warangal airport, too.
This may be a domestic airport and construction would begin once AAI of the Ministry of Civil Aviation gives all necessary clearances. In fact, the Mamnoor airport with more than one terminal, was the largest during the pre-independence era, spread over 1,875 acres of land, and consisting of quarters for pilot and staff and a pilot training centre.
It was built in 1930 and was commissioned by the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, along with another one at Solapur, to boost the paper industry at Kagaznagar and the Azam Zahi Mills at Warangal. The Mamnoor airport provided the landing facility for high profile leaders until 1981, and during the Indo-China war, it served as a hangar for government aircraft as theDelhi airport was the target of the enemy. This apart, many cargo and Vayudoot services also used it as their base. At present, the airport has become defunct.
The plan to revive the Warangal airport gained momentum when the State government considered acquiring 200 acres of additional land around the old facility. Warangal has been on the list of proposed airstrips under UDAN, a regional airport connectivity programme. Both Mamnoor and Basanth Nagar (Peddapalli) have been recognised as potential airports because of their proximity to tourist destinations. This is as part of Centre’s plan to connect 54 wildlife, religious, and tourist destinations under the next round UDAN scheme.