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Hassan airport ready for trial runs by Dec. 2008

Our Political Bureau Economic Times


EXACTLY one year after Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) begins commercial operations, Karnataka will see another greenfield private sector project at Hassan turn operational by April 2009.

Trials at the Rs 650-crore Hassan airport project, being executed by Jupiter Aviation & Logistics (JAL) floated by Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, are slated to begin by December next year.

‘‘We are raring to go. The basic designs are ready. Procurement as well as construction of main runway and other activity is all set to begin in a couple of months,’’ said JAL CEO and managing director S Ravi Narayanan, after signing a concession agreement with state public works department principal secretary Sudhir Krishna on Thursday. The government has already handed over 514 acres of land to JAL. Another 446 acres of land is to be acquried, which will be completed by November, Mr Sudhir Krishna said.

Mr Narayanan said it will be a world class, all-weather, all-aircraft airport with aircraft maintenance and modification facilities, besides acting as a major cargo handling destination through an inland container depot. Hassan airport will have a passenger handling capacity of two million in the first year, which is expected to increase to 10 million in 30 years.

The airport targets handling 60,000 tonnes of cargo per year and facilitate training of over 600 commercial pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and air traffic control cadets annually, besides handling heavy checks and modifications of over 60 aircraft per year. It will be equipped with two MRO hangars that can concurrently house two A380 or 8 A320 aircrafts, besides aprons with a capacity of five parked transit passenger aircraft.

The 3,600-m long, 60-m wide runway will be capable of handling all types of aircraft, including the biggest A380s. The airport will boast a 100,000 sq.ft. passenger terminal and a 100,000 tonne cargo terminal, besides two 100 X 200 m maintenance hangars. A key feature of the Hassan airport, according to Mr. Narayanan, is the incorporation of the business models of four successful international Hassan airport — Mephis (USA), Toulouse (France), Bristol (UK) and Paya Lebar (Singapore).

The state has proposed to take up a ring road project around Hassan. Work on four- laning the Bangalore-Hassan national highway has been taken up, while a detailed project report is being prepared for a similar work on the Hassan-Bantwal Cross Road link. Meanwhile, the National Highway Authority of India has taken up the B C Road-Mangalore Port road work under the port connectivity program.

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