It has written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, sent a copy to Competition Commission of India

Six years after commercial operations were stopped at the HAL airport here, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. has written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on restarting short-haul flights at its airport. It has also sent a copy of the letter to the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

‘Written to Ministry’

HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi on Tuesday said: “We have [in recent months] written to the MoCA with a copy to the CCI saying we should be allowed to reopen the HAL airport for scheduled commercial operations. The airport is a national asset. HAL has lost Rs. 1,200 crore in revenue since it was shut down. The local public is also suffering.” If reopened, HAL airport could once again be the hub for trips to short distances such as Mysore and Chennai. It’s all about synergy with the new and larger airport,” he said.

Separately, at a talk organised by the Hyderabad chapter of the Aeronautical Society of India, Mr. Tyagi pointed out: “We are already in a position to operate civil aircraft at HAL Ojhar, near Nasik, which is about 200 km from Mumbai and 220 km from Pune. This should give a boost to the regional economy.”

For over 50 years, the military airport owned by HAL had doubled as an international airport. But, its fate was sealed when a new international airport was established at Devanahalli, 40 km from the city, to meet burgeoning air traffic. The airport, recently renamed Kempegowda International Airport, started commercial operations in 2008. At that time, the HAL airport was handling annual traffic of about 10.2 million passengers. It now handles military, VVIP and small chartered aircraft. KIA’s traffic touched 12.8 million during the period between April 2013 and March 2014.

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