Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa inaugurated Kalaburagi Airport in the north-east part of the state on Friday (November 22).
The state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Industries minister Jagadish Shettar also attended the inauguration. The airport will be operational from Friday and Star Air headed by Sanjay Ghodawat group will operate flights between Kalburgi and Bengaluru thrice a week, Monday, Friday and Sunday.
Star Air also plans to extend flight operations to other cities like Tirupati. Alliance Air will also start operating from the airport soon.
The Karnataka government had acquired 567 acres of farmland to build the airport and the project was completed at a cost of Rs 175 crore. Yediyurappa had laid the foundation stone for the airport building in June 2018 during his short stint as the state CM. The airport will act as a gateway to several parts of the district for several tourist destinations including Gulbarga fort, Buddha Vihar and Khwaja Bandha Nawaz dargah.
Karnataka govt signs MoU with AAI
The state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airports Authorities of India (AAI) on August 24 for the development, operation and maintenance of Kalaburagi airport. On October 4, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued aerodrome licence for Kalaburagi airport.
The airport building has four ticket counters, waiting lounge, luggage claim lounge, feeding room and automated luggage detector. There are separate security checkpoints for men and women passengers. The parking space of the airport can accommodate two small aircraft and an airbus.
According to the reports, the runway of Kalaburagi airport spans 3.25 km making it second-longest runway in the state after Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and ninth longest runway strip in AAI-owned airports.
The state government has also planned to develop 15 small airports across Karnataka, in accordance with the civil aviation ministry's policy to support regional air connectivity. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be set up by the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and AAI for the development of these airports.