The expansion of Belgaum Sambra airport which had begun in 2006, will now start in with a new zeal in the coming days, after DC Anubu Kumar announced that the possession of the acquired land would be handed over to Airports Authority of India. State has issued notices to the farmers to vacate the land for acquisition before January 16, 2006 but then the farmers had their own woes. Still farmers grow crops on the land as the possession has not yet being transferred. Possession of the entire chunk of land has not yet been handed over to AAI. Also about 90% of the farmers have also got the reimbursement money. There were some issues raised by the farmers for access to grave yard and road which have been addressed now.
A total of 356 acres of land is acquired some 15 acres is still left to be acquired of total 371 acres proposed for expansion. Two months back the new boundary markings for acquisition was completed pillars were installed, the circumventing wall would come up after the soil samples which were taken on every 500 ft distance from marked area and were sent to Bangalore.
The airport currently has a new terminal building and also a daily Spicejet flight to Bangalore. It is also learned that the District administration is keen on the airline to commence Mumbai operations and the fate of the same could be decided in a couple of days.
What is the need of Airport expansion:
Expansion of the airport here is mainly for a new runway which can handle Airbus and Boeing planes. The current runway can manage only smaller Aircrafts.
Sambra is one of the oldest airports in the country which was commissioned by the The Royal Air Force in 1942 and then the Patwardhan Sarkar had allotted the land. Indian Airlines had regular service from here but in late 1980′s it got dis continued and in 1989 private players like Vayudoot started operations with the Belgaum – Mumbai and Belgaum- Bangalore services.