The announcement that the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) Airport at Bengaluru will be reopened for commercial operations is welcome. This will help decongest the Kempegowda International Airport and thus benefit those living in the city. With this, Bengaluru may become the first place in India to have two commercially operational airports. Among the places outside India, London and New York have more than one civilian airport and all of them are running successfully as the planners duly considered all aspects related to safety and traffic movement for the purpose of commercial operations.
The concerned authorities in India, too, should take immediate necessary steps. They should agree to waive-off the 150 km clause and should not waste time by postponing the decision regarding the HAL Airport. Not only will the re-opening increase passenger comfort by helping them access an airport within the city, such a move could also help in operating more short-haul flights within Karnataka, to places like Belagavi, Hubli and Mangaluru or to nearby airports like those in Tirupati, Vijawayawada or Kochi. In the past, the HAL Airport has successfully handled all types of aircraft and is adequately equipped with facilities needed for commercial operations.
Varun Srinivas Bengaluru
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