The air passenger traffic to and from Mysuru has registered a significant growth ever since the regional connectivity scheme UDAN was launched by the Centre almost three years ago.
As per the statistics pertaining to passenger traffic released by the authorities, there were 90,398 passenger arrivals and 94,856 departures from Mysuru from September 2017 till January 2020. Stakeholders said this was only the tip of the iceberg and the potential of Mysuru airport, which was on the path to growth, was yet to be full tapped.
Mysuru Airport director R. Manjunath on Friday said that at present TruJet, Alliance Air, and Indigo offer services from Mysuru to Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Bengaluru, and Belagavi while the flight to Kochi had been suspended in view of the runway re-carpeting work at Kochi airport.
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There is a growing demand from passengers for providing air connectivity to cities including Mangaluru and Coimbatore, given their commercial importance, and to pilgrimage centres such as Shirdi and Tirupati.
All the routes allocated to Mysuru under UDAN are now operational and the next round of bidding for routes will be floated in due course by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
It is likely that Mysuru may get a few more flights depending on the interest of the flight operators most of whom are convinced of the passenger movement to and from the city. Apart from the tourist inflow, there is a steady increase in the business and regular passengers seeking to fly to Chennai, Hyderabad, or Belagavi for personal reasons and air travel is gaining popularity given the short duration of the flight. For instance, bus journey to Belagavi takes anywhere up to 10 hours while the flight journey takes 85 minutes.
Mr. Manjunath said the expansion of airport entailing increasing the runway length from the existing 1,740 m to 2,400 m would facilitate the operation of both Boeing and Airbus flights and could help provide direct connectivity from Mysuru to any point across India.
The first phase of the expansion, however, hinges on transfer of 115 acres of land from the State government to the Airports Authority of India. Construction of an underpass