OTHERS

Work on shortcut to airport delayed

MANGALORE, MARCH 17. The plan to build a shortcut to Mangalore Airport at Bajpe, which is 22 km from the city, is hanging fire.

If the existing road is connected to the hilltop at Maravoor (Dakkan Park), the distance to the airport, calculated from Circuit House, can be reduced to 14 km, and the travel time cut to 20 minutes from 30 minutes.

Additional land

However, additional land to the extent of 150 acres is required to lay the road. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had requested the State Government to grant the land, which will be used for widening the stretch to the hill.

Land is also required for constructing a new airport terminal at the top of the hill at Dakkan Park. But it is learnt that the Government is yet to give a positive response to the request for land.

Realignment

According to the airport authorities, runway realignment has to be taken up. The realignment will facilitate the construction of a new terminal.

Ideally, the building should be at the end of the second and realigned runway, facing Maravoor bridge.

This will make the building accessible from the old approach road to Dakkan Park, which is only a 15-minute drive from Circuit House.

The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, and the Public Works Minister, H.D. Revanna were approached by the AAI, it is learnt.

The Union Minister of State for Programme Implementation and Statistics, Oscar Fernandes, had hinted at a "special component Central grant" to the State Government, but that is yet to materialise.

The AAI has constructed a road connecting Adyapady and Maravoor villages.

The link is away from the runway and will not come in the way of expansion of the airport.

Many advantages

The airport had many disadvantages in the past. It had a short runway, which made it suitable for operating only Boeing 737.

Facilities for aircraft to land and take off at night were also lacking.

When the airport expansion project began a couple of years ago, many of the disadvantages appeared to have been addressed. But not much appears to have changed.

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