UDAN Effect: Three Airports In Karnataka Might Soon Commence International Operations

The new terminal at Hubli Airport (Manjunathk 92/Wikimedia Commons)

The Centre’s ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik (UDAN) might do more than just provide low-cost air-based connectivity to several Tier-II and Tier-II towns in India.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has released a draft policy for international air connectivity under UDAN, reports Bangalore Mirror with a view to develop international air connectivity between select international destinations and Indian airports. While stakeholders and states have been asked to submit their views by 4 September, the Infrastructure Development Department of Karnataka will hold discussions with the centre on 1 September.

The southern state is likely to bring up discussions on activating airstrips in North Karnataka for international connectivity.

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Karnataka currently has two international airports, the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru and the Mangaluru International Airport. Apart from this, the Hubbali, Belagavi and Kalaburgi airports are capable of handling wide-body aircraft and are suited for international travel.

Of the three, Hubbali and Belagavi airports are currently operational domestic airfields while a successful trial run was conducted at Kalaburgi earlier this week.

Fixed wing aircraft with a seating capacity of 70 and above will be permitted under the new extension and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will execute the project.

Two other states, Assam and Andrha Pradesh have come forward to participate with Assam also identifying possible routes.

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