In a move that is likely to bring a cheer among techies in the city, as well as, the residents of south Bengaluru, the Hosur airport is set to begin operations soon. The Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) has agreed to give it a No-Objection Certificate, after which the Hosur airport will be able to operate under the UDAN scheme.
The airport is reportedly handled and maintained by Pune-based Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited (TAAL) and has been under the ambit of the UDAN scheme for a while now. However, operations hadn't begun as the BIAL and the Civil Aviation Ministry have an agreement under which no airport within 150 km of the Kempegowda International Airport would be allowed to operate for 25 years from the date of its opening.
"Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has agreed to give permission to Hosur airport to operate under certain conditions which are yet to be cleared by Hosur airport authorities," Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha explained in the Parliament.
Even though BIAL has agreed to give an NOC, it reportedly comes with conditions that only Udan flights would operate from the Hosur airport. "Turbo Aviation was awarded the Chennai-Hosur route under Udan in the first phase of route allotment. If only Udan flights, which are small planes are operated, the airport will not pose much competition to BIAL on domestic routes as non-Udan flights cannot be operated for the first two years from Hosur," the Times of India quoted a senior Airports Authority of India as saying.
Adding to the details and the conditions, a BIAL official said that only one 20-seater Udan flight would be allowed to operate from the Hosur airport each day.
However, the task won't be easy for TAAL, which will now have to build a terminal and air traffic control facilities at the airport.
This will prove to be a boon for residents of south Bengaluru and IT professionals who often spend hours commuting to the KIA. While residents of Electronic City are known to take about two hours to reach the airport, it will now take them just 30-40 minutes to reach the Hosur airport, which is 27 km away.
This comes weeks after it was announced that Bengaluru would get its second heli-taxi route between HAL Airport and the Kempegowda International Airport. Discussions on the operation were said to be ongoing, and it was also reported that the fares would be a little on the steeper side on this route, compared to the Electronic City- KIA route.
It was said that Thumby Aviation Pvt Ltd, which would operate the services, will have to shell out quite a large amount of fees in the form of ground handling charges, landing charges and parking charges to HAL authorities as it did not have its own helipad.
Meanwhile, the Electronic City- KIA heli-taxi was launched on March 5, 2018, and nine passengers were a part of the first trip. The duration of the flight is 15 minutes and the service takes three-round trips from 6.30 am to 9.45 am and another three round-trips between 3.15 pm and 6.00 pm.
The tickets are priced at Rs 4,130 per person, which includes GST and charges for luggage up to 15 kg. In case your luggage is over 15 kg, you can opt to transport it for extra cost through CarterPorter, a third party service.
One can also charter the helicopter between 10 am and 3 pm for about Rs 35,000 for six seats.