Over 20 organizations gathered under the banner and aim of SaveIXG and gave a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner asking him to persuade the matter and put forth the demands of the citizens of the city to the Ministry of Civil aviation.
Belagavi is a beautiful city of over 6 lakhs population situated in the foothills of Western Ghats, has a salubrious climate throughout the year, due to its green cover by big trees in & around the city. It has a glorious past & history of over 200 years. Due to its pleasant climate, thick forests around & abundant water sources, this city was the choice of British Rulers for establishing its Offices of Collectorate, Commissionerate, Cantonment for Maratha Light Infantry, the only Commando Training Centre in the country and the Air Force Training Centre at Sambra (about 11 kms from City).
Civilian Airport for the city is operating here for the last 75 years i.e. since 1944, providing air connectivity to the growing city. The foundry industry here is famous for its precision and quality coupled with hydraulic machinery producers, 18 sugar mills, aircraft spare parts manufacturing SEZ “Aequs Aero Space”, all contributing considerably to foreign exchange and employment potential.
Due to the presence of the 9 excellent Educational Institutions imparting quality education in medical, engineering, business and law, the city has now made its mark on the global map. Recently established super specialty hospital also has made Belagavi as a health-care destination. All these factors caused rapid growth of the city, necessitating better air connectivity to both national and international destinations.
With all this in view, the state government constructed a monumental structure called “Suvarna Soudha” at a cost of Rs. 400 Cr., in which the legislative session is conducted for once a year. As such, Belagavi is now rightly seen as the 2nd capital of Karnataka. Development and growth of the city in all aspects is happening very rapidly now during the last decade with the proper vision and correct consideration. It is no wonder that Belagavi was selected in the first phase itself under Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Smart City Mission in 2015.
This has further given on enormous Philip to the growth of the city in all its potential areas, thereby urging the need for reaching distant places within and outside the Country by fastest means of travel.
Realizing this and the future growth potential, the City Airport (i.e. Sambra Airport) is redeveloped and updated by Airport Authority of India at a sizable cost of Rs. 141 crores for which additional 370 acres of land is also made available by State Government free of cost. Soon after inauguration and commissioning of the newly constructed building, extended length of the runway and new integrated ATC tower, 5-6 daily flights started operating by private airlines like SpiceJet, Indigo, etc, connecting Belagavi to Chennai, Hyderabad, etc. in addition to Mumbai and Bengaluru. Passenger growth suddenly increased from 8900 per month to over 23000 pm in March 2018, showing a load factor of 85 to 98%.
However somehow, for the misfortune of the city, this fast galloping progress in air connectivity to Belagavi was short lived, when Udan scheme was granted to Hubballi airport during May 2018. For some days the airport was closed, thereby depriving the air connectivity to the citizens of Belagavi and nearby places.
However, only one flight started between Belagavi and Bangalore for 3 days a week for some period and then daily one flight from August 2018. In fact, Belagavi fulfills all the criteria required for a Udan scheme due to the following facts:
1) The Airport is now categorised as “Under served” in terms of its customer handling capacity, load factor, parking space (it has parking place for 3 air buses),
customer satisfaction, ATC, etc.
2) Airline companies are eager to start operations from Belagavi Airport under Udan scheme as the operations are found to be commercially viable.
3) Air connectivity to the two-tier cities from Belagavi is needed for growth of Industries, Commerce, Tourism, Hotels, Education, Health & Export in this region.
We, therefore, score 100% in the selection process of Belagavi Airport under Udan Scheme, and there appears to be no single reason, why it should not be declared under 3rd phase of Udan Scheme.
If unfortunately not selected without convincing causes, there shall be irreparable damages inflicted on the growth in all potential areas of Industries, Commerce, Tourism, Education and Health Services, to such an extent that some of them may even come to the stage of closing down, creating unemployment problems.
We, therefore, hope Sir that you will not give scope for a grave situation and support our cause of growth and welfare, evenly for one and all.
Hoping to be favored and blessed with “UDAN TO BELAGAVI”.