Shri.Suresh Angadi said in Loksabha: The present BJPp government in Karnataka under the leadership of Shri Jagdish Shettar is doing an excellent work in the state. The farmers in my constituency, in the last eight years, in Belgaum have provided land to the Government of India. The Chairman and also the officials of the Airports Authority of India visited Belgaum last year. Belgaum is the oldest airport and since Independence Air India had been operating flights in Belgaum. But for the last few years, no Air India flights had been operating in my area. I would like to know from the hon. Minister if Air India is going to start flights to Belgaum. In earlier days when Shri.B.Shankaranand was the Central Minister, he used to come by Air India flights only. Also, Shri Ananth Kumar was the Minister of Civil Aviation, at that time also Air India flights were operational in Belgaum. But at the present time, there are no Air India flights operating in Belgaum. I would like to know as to why my area is being neglected. Even Mahatma Gandhi also visited Belgaum and it is a very important place. Geographically, Belgaum on one side borders the State of Goa and on the other side borders the State of Maharashtra. It is like a mini Bharat. I would like to request the hon. Minister to operate Air India flights to Belgaum. The Government of Karnataka has provided all the facilities like water and police station. The BJP Government in the State is doing an excellent work in Karnataka. So, I would like to request the hon. Minister to provide this facility to Belgaum.
In reply to the supplementary question asked, the Union Minister for Civil Aviation said, the Belgaum airport is being developed jointly with the Indian Navy. Total outlay is Rs. 293 crore, out of which, the share of AAI is 142 crore and the Indian Navy is paying Rs. 151 crore. As far as asking AAI to start a flight to Belgaum is concerned, airlines decide about operating flights on commercial lines as to where they should operate the flights. I would certainly check the status and what their plans to operate flights to Belgaum are. But we do not ask airlines to fly to any particular place except North-East, Jammu and Andamans and it is up to the airlines to decide about that.