Built in 1942 by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Belagavi (IXG) Airport is the oldest airport in North Karnataka. The RAF used the airport as a training site during World War II, providing support to the South East Asia Command. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took control of the airport in 1956, followed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 1962. During the 1990s, IXG Airport was served by five passenger airlines: East-West Airlines, Gujarat Airways, Indian Airlines, NEPC Airlines and Vayudoot.
This airport as on date is been served by SpiceJet with one flight to Bengaluru, six days a week. The City of Belagavi is called as the second capital of the state houses the gigantic Suvrana Vidhan Soudha, the legislature house.
The city of Belagavi has some great potential for growth in aviation but with UDAN scheme this operational airport has been very badly affected and would only see signs of revival once it is brought under UDAN as promised by PM Narendra Modi here during an election rally.
The city has a 2400 bed Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital, has AEQUS, the Aerospace SEZ; has three universities namely VTU, KLE Academy of Higher Education & Research and RCU along with numerous colleges in all fields such as law, commerce, engineering, arts.
The world’s largest helmet manufacture VEGA is also here along with those hundreds of FOUNDRY and hydraulics based industries which have been supplying raw material to top companies for decades.
The world drapes itself with famous Shahpuri sarees, the sugar bowl of Karnataka also has many companies with a niche like Servocontrols, Polyhydron and many more who have been supplying world class products to the world.
To add to this we have the MLIRC, Airmen training school, ITBP and CRPF training camps are special feathers to the cap of Belagavi.
The Air force station was built by and originally under the control of the Royal Air Force, the
Now with only one flight this can have Adverse impacts on the total development.
Foreign delegations which now have an option to come to IXG from Various destinations, now would be confined to only one.
The Aerospace industry with AEQUS and other players who have earned a niche for themselves will face difficulty in getting clients to their offices. Educational institutions will face a hard time getting expert speakers as many prefer to save on travel time.
The locals who have been involved at the airport will also suffer a lot as they might not shift to Hubballi as they are locals from nearby villages.
The expanded runway of 2300 m can handle any Boeing and Airbus planes. 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.
Traffic potential of Belagavi Airport for the year 2012-2013 is 378 aircraft movements and 13778 passengers & traffic forecast for 2015-16 is 754 aircraft movements and 47513 passengers.
Forecast for 2016-17 is 792 and 52265 passengers
Forecast for 2017-18 is 831 and 57491 passengers
Forecast for 2022-2023 years is 1222 aircraft movements and 92590 passengers.
The SaveIXG team which includes an array of people from various backgrounds from frequent fliers, industrialists, Bankers, Social workers you name them and one is there on the group trying his best to somehow get the word about IXG noticed and how lesser flights could impact the overall growth and image of the city.
Hubballi airport set to be busiest in North Karnataka with around 20 flights to be operated from June. And one of the oldest airports the IXG, is now operational on paper with just one flight by SpiceJet.
Many say it is the economics of the Airlines that they shifted to HBX, but if step motherly treatment is to be given to IXG then it will never ever bloom to its capability.
Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) has been a disaster for Belagavi until and unless it is included in the scheme and new players start operations.
With hyper growth in the aviation sector the drop in flights at IXG is not a welcome sign. We the citizens will have to get this mater heard by the higher authorities and if in reality the Aam nagrik has to fly we must have sufficient flights to preferred destinations.
SaveIXG team is currently working behind the scenes and making this fact noted to the ministry and all the officials involved including the airline operators, IXG should be a preferred destination in the times to come.