Two greenfield airports set up under the public private partnership (PPP) model in Karnataka will be opened for commercial use by July this year. The two new airports are currently under final stages of construction at Gulbarga and Shimoga, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar announced at the inaugural event of Aero India 2013, the five-day international air show. Besides these two minor airports, the state government has also initiated steps to modernise and expand existing airport at Hubli. The government has recently acquired 615 acres land for the same and handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), he said. As many as five new minor airports are being developed in the state to give boost to the air travel, he said. Stating that only 97 out of close to 500 airports are currently operated by AAI, Shettar said there is a greater need for state governments to join hands with the Centre for development of new airports in the country. The Karnataka government has taken steps to develop at least one airstrip in every district and minor airports at several places, he said. Incidentally, Bangalore international airport is the first greenfield airport to be developed to be developed under the PPP model in the country, which started operations in May 2008.
In less than five years, the airport is handling 12 million passengers per annum. The second terminal building, which is under final stages of completion, would result in the movement of 17 million passengers per annum once it is commissioned, Shettar said."As part of our Vision 2020, we have initiated steps to develop airstrips in all the district headquarters and give major boost to the civial aviation sector in the state," Shettar said. He said the state government is also developing an international level aerospace park spread over 1,000 acres near Bangaore International Airport at Devanahalli, about 35 kms from Bangalore. Already, companies like HAL, BEML, Dynamatic Technologies have taken space and are building their new manufacturing facilities, he said. The chief minister said Karnataka and Bangalore are the ideal destination for making investment in the aerospace sector as it possess the required eco-system and invited global aerospace majors to invest in the aerospace park. On this occasion, the state government released its first Aerospace Policy 2013-2023. The first copy of the policy was released at the hands of Defence Minister A K Antony. The policy aims at generating investments to the tune of over $10 billion in the next 10 years.