Briefing reporters at the ‘Make in Karnataka’ conference in Bengaluru, Minister for Large and Medium Industries R V Deshpande said Hubballi airport is almost ready to receive an Airbus, Belagavi airport will take another eight months. Now, only ATRs are operating. There is huge potential for bigger aircraft to operate.
Expansion plans for Belagavi Airport were launched in 2010, when the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Government of Karnataka signed a memorandum of understanding. In 2013, the Central Government cleared the expansion project.
The runway was refurbished and then extended in order to facilitate larger aircraft such as the Airbus A321. The DGCA has yet to approve the runway extension for use; however, it is unlikely to do so until a nearby cell tower is removed. In addition, the runway approach lighting system cannot be installed unless an obstructing road is closed, and the wall of the Air Force Station is presenting another obstruction. Meanwhile, the DGCA expects all other expansion works to be complete soon which include work on the terminal, car park, air traffic control and aprons.
Now with the minister saying it will take another 8 months the wait will be longer for Belagavi.
What will be in the upgraded Belagavi Airport:
The existing airport area is 360.34 acres and got an additional area of about 370 acres for its expansion. Hence, the total project area will be 730.34 acres. At present Belagavi airport have one runway oriented 08/26, 1,830m in length, apron of 6,916m2 terminal building of 1200m2 and can handle 90 passengers. At present Belagavi is an operational airport for ATR-72 and operates one flight per day.
After expansion it has been proposed to operate four daily flights of A-321.
Expansion includes all the facilities for safe operation of the aircraft like expansion of existing runway, new terminal building to cater 200 passengers at a time, expansion of apron, air traffic controller, runway end safety area (RESA) etc..
Other miscellaneous facilities will include New ATC tower cum Technical Block, Fire station (category VII), relocation of DVOR, security watch tower new substation, AC plant room, provision of hooter system at access points and provision of explosive detection system.
Source: Expert Appraisal Committee for Projects related to Infrastructure Development