KARNATAKA

Team's visit revives hopes of airport

MYSORE, NOV. 29. A seven-member team of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) began its two-day inspection of Mandakalli airport near here on Monday, reviving hopes of early launch of air services from Mysore.

Accompanied by the technical staff, the team is understood to have indicated to the district administration that an additional 35 acres of land was needed to extend the runway from 1,400 metres to 1,750 metres for operating a 50-seater aircraft. The team inspected the runway and its alienation. The Deputy Commissioner, G. Kumar Naik, and the Tahsildar of Mysore, Malige Shankar, were present. The inspection is expected to continue on Tuesday.

Fresh impetus

Mr. Kumar Naik said the visit of the official team would give a fresh impetus to Mandakalli airport upgradation and facilitate early air linking of Mysore.

The AAI team comprised I.N. Murtrhy, Deputy General Manager, Planning, G. Prabhaharan, Assistant General Manager, Planning, and A.K. Jain, Deputy General Manager, Air Traffic Control, and T.R.S. Murthy, Senior Manager.

MoU crucial

Mr. Murthy told presspersons that the team had been asked to inspect the site and submit a report on the requirements to start air services. "We will inspect different aspects of the airport before submitting a report," he said.

Mr. Murthy indicated that signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the AAI and the Government of Karnataka was crucial for the airport project to materialise.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is understood to be keen on early launch of flight service from Mysore. Industries Minister P.G.R. Sindhia, who was in Mysore on Sunday, said the Government was committed to expedite upgrading the Mandakalli airport.

The Information Technology sector in Mysore is expected to large investments in view of infrastructure bottlenecks in Bangalore. An IT giant is understood to have assured the Government that it would ensure that its employees made up the numbers to make the operation of flights to Mysore viable.

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