Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa inaugurated the newly-constructed Kalaburagi airport Friday which will now connect Bengaluru with the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
Yediyurappa arrived from Bengaluru by Star airlines to Kalaburagi on the first flight which landed at around 1.45 pm. The 3.25 km runway laid at Kalaburagi Airport is the second-longest in Karnataka after Bengaluru Airport.
With Kalaburagi airport beginning its operations, northeast Karnataka region is set to have air connectivity to Bengaluru and the rest of India under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)-Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
Speaking to media, Yediyurappa said, “The people of the Kalaburagi was waiting for this day for many years, now under the UDAN scheme the airport has become reality. We hope the industrialization in this region will have good growth because of the airport.”
The airport was constructed under public-private partnership at a cost of Rs 175.5 crore. In August 2018, a trial landing was successfully conducted on the Kalaburagi airport runway. On August 24, the Kalaburagi airport was formally handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for commercial operations under the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme.
Karnataka Chief Minister @BSYBJP inaugurated the Kalaburagi airport. He arrived from #Bengaluru by Star airlines to Kalaburagi on the first flight which landed at around 1.45 pm @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/LC8DnrVvod
— Darshan Devaiah B P (@DarshanDevaiahB) November 22, 2019
Earlier, the state government was trying to get Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the airport, even BS Yediyurappa tried to get Modi for the inauguration. “Yesterday(Thursday) I spoke to Modi about the inauguration of the airport, he was happy to know about the inauguration. Due to the busy schedule of Prime Minister, he is not able to attend the program,” added Yediyurappa.
The Karnataka government cleared the Kalaburagi greenfield airport project in March 2007. The work started on the public-private partnership by Gulbarga Airport Developers Limited (GADL), a consortium of Maytas Infra Ltd, NCC Infra Holdings & VIE India. The airport was scheduled to be completed in 2012.
After an investment of Rs 25 crore, Gulbarga Airport Developers Limited could not complete the work. The state government terminated the contract in 2014. The responsibility of completing the work was then entrusted to the State Public Works Department with technical guidance from RITES India Pvt Ltd.
Bengaluru-Kalaburagi flight schedule:
The Star Air Flight will depart from Bengaluru 12.20 PM and arrive at the Kalaburagi airport at 1.25 PM. on the return journey, the Star Air flight will depart from Kalaburagi at 1.55 PM and will arrive at Bengaluru at 3.00 PM. Flights will be available three days a week – Monday, Friday and Sunday.
Passengers will fly on Star Air’s 50-seater advanced aircraft, which have been manufactured by Embraer having 2 jet engines powered by Rolls Royce. Currently, the airline mainly operates flights on UDAN routes and provides services to seven Indian cities like Delhi-NCR (Hindon), Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Tirupati, Hubballi, and Belagavi.
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