Just days after Infosys chairman N R Narayana Murthy expressed concern over the connectivity to the Bangalore International Airport,now rechristened as the Kempegowda International Airport,the Union Civil Aviation ministry on Saturday told the government that the issue of airport connectivity remains a major concern.
Union Civil Aviation secretary K N Shrivastava said at the renaming of the airport and opening of an expanded Terminal 1 that the road connectivity along National Highway 7 to the airport is insufficient and efforts must be made to fast track rail connectivity projects to the airport as well.
The Karnataka government is currently planning to extend the Bangalore Metro to the airport during the third phase of the metro project. A high speed rail link project to the airport that was earlier conceived has now been shelved.
The connectivity to the Bangalore Airport remains a concern. NH 7 is not enough. The government must take steps to fast track rail and road connectivity projects, the civil aviation secretary said at the event attended by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
The Civil Aviation secretary also recommended that the state government reduce taxes on aviation fuel from 28 per cent to 5 per cent to make the Bangalore airport competitive enough to become an aviation hub in the region. Bold decisions will pave the way to making Bangalore an aviation hub, Shrivastava said.
He said the countrys aviation market is expected to see a spike in traffic in the next 10 years with 337 million domestic and 84 million international passengers from the present 117 million domestic and 43 million international passengers. Indias domestic aviation market is the second highest growing market in the world after China,and it is expected to become the third largest aviation market in the world after the US and China by 2020, he said.
Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh,who also spoke on the occasion,said the UPA government had decided to operate,manage and develop 20 airports of the Airports Authority of India under PPP.
For effective operations and efficient management,these airports will be handed over to the private sector,the process of handing over six airports Kolkata,Chennai,Lucknow,Ahmedabad,Jaipur and Guwahati has already begun, he said.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it was a proud day for all the people of the state. He said the government would examine the suggestions of the Union civil aviation secretary.