Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd today expressed confidence that the HAL Airport would open for some operations in the next few months with the company appealing to the Civil Aviation Ministry to include it in the list for regional connectivity. “When the regional connectivity policy was announced, Bengaluru’s HAL airport was not listed by the Ministry. We appealed to them to list our airport in it and allow regional connectivity from HAL airport,” HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju said. “We are confident in the next few months some operations would definitely open up,” he told reporters at the ongoing Aero India 2017 air show at Yelahanka airbase here.
Karnataka Industries Minister R V Deshpande had earlier said that the city’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has already achieved the passenger traffic projected for 2020. KIA, where passenger traffic grew at 22.5 per cent in 2016, had seen a footfall of 22.18 million passengers. Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) runs the international airport.
“Normally a state or city will be proud to have two airports,” he said, adding that “unfortunately”, there was a legal contract with the government of India and BIAL which stated that for the next 25 years there cannot be a commercial airport operating in the zone of 150 km. HAL airport, which served as the city’s sole domestic and international airport for decades, was shut in 2008 after Bengaluru International Airport at Devanahalli was established.