Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has appealed to the Centre to shift the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) helicopter training division from Yelahanka in Bengaluru to Mysuru airport.
During his meeting with Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi recently, Mr. Kumaraswamy appealed to the Centre to develop Mysuru airport on the lines of the airports in Pune, Srinagar and Chandigarh for use as civil and military purpose.
By developing Mysuru airport and providing all facilities, the pressure on Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru will come down, Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
According to a statement, the Chief Minister has urged the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which is operating the Mysuru airport, to permit the IAF to shift its helicopter base to Mysuru airport. The State government has issued a no-objection certificate for the purpose, the statement said.
Meanwhile, sources in AAI in Mysuru told The Hindu that they are awaiting acquisition of 248 acres of land for expansion of Mysuru airport.
The additional land will facilitate the extension of runway from the existing 1,740 metres to 2,750 metres, by constructing an underpass for national highway 766 connecting Mysuru with Ooty, which presently obstructs the process of extension.
The stretch of National Highway, which presently obstructs the extension of runway, will make way for a “blast-proof” underpass that has been cleared by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board, which has been directed by the State government to acquire land, is in the process of doing so. “We are waiting to take possession of the land to begin work on the construction of the underpass,” an AAI official in Mysuru said.
The extension of runway is necessary to operate long-haul flights.
Presently, only short-haul 70-seater flights can operate from the airport.