After the last flight which took off to Bengaluru on Feb 28, which had about 50+ passengers, the Sambra airport is now deserted as Spicejet has shifted all its operations to Hubballi and as per its press release this is because of shortage of planes.
With this the airport connectivity to one of the oldest airport’s in the country has again come to a halt.
The Sambra airport dates back to 1942, when it was under the Patwardhan Sarkar of Sangli. The Patwardhan Sarkar gave permission for establishing the air base at Sambra to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in late 1942.
In 1947 Belgaum was sole city with an airport. In 1986 the airports was privatized and then later given over to the Airports authority of India. 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.
1993-95 East west airlines flew from here and in 1994 NEPC also started operations. In 1997-98 Span Airways had its operations from here. IN 1998 Gujrat airways commenced its operations on Bangalore Belgaum Pune route but due to lack of traffic and technical reasons its stopped its operations. In 1999 air services from Sambra stopped completely.
After 1999 till 2003 the airport was being utlised by politicians and the Air force for training with no commercial flights.
In 2003 Air Deccan the low cost airline started its operations and Belgaum was back on the radar. Service was commenced on 29 September 2003 with the Mumbai – Bangalore service via Belgaum. Later due to lack of traffic only Belgaum – Bangalore service was in operation.
This airport also acted as a base during the Goa liberation movement in 1961.
1942- The Royal Air Force (RAF) established its base at Sambra
1947- Indian Airlines commenced its operations from here
1989- Private airline operators given permission
1989-93- Vayudoot Private carrier flew from here
1993-95- East West Airways Also took off from here
1994-96- NEPC Commenced its operations
1997-98- Span Airways
1998-99- Gujrat Airways
2003-09- Air Deccan (Kingfisher Red)
17 June 2009 – Kingfisher stops flights
Nov 22, 2012 – Spicejet starts operations
28 February 2015 – Spicejet Stops its operations