Mangaluru, Jan 3, 2017 : The proposed runway expansion project of Mangaluru International Airport has hit a major roadblock with the unending tug of war between the State and Union Governments.
The tussle between the governments over land required for the project has been taking new twists and turns. The state government which is adamant that the land acquisition costs must be borne by the Airports Authority itself is now seeking a guarantee of the implementation of the project by the Authority. But the Authority is of the view that there was no need for such a guarantee as the project was proposed in 2013 itself.
Airline companies shift attention to Kerala : With the existing runway at MIA not ideal for taking off and landing of large aircrafts, naturally airline companies are now turning towards Tiruvananthapuram and Kannur airports of Kerala.
Kerala already has three international airports at Tiruvananthapuram, Kallikote and Cochin and the fourth one at Kannur is likely to be operational in March this year. In Karnataka however, after Bengaluru the only city having an international airport is Mangaluru. In Kerala the land for the airport expansion was provided by the State government .
Mangaluru International Airport has won commendation for its amenities and quality of services. Passenger traffic has also increased by 30 % last year while the revenue has increased from Rs 67 crores to Rs 90 crores.
The Union Civil Aviation Ministry has said that the works would be taken up through AAI once the state government makes the land available.
Currently, works on constructing two taxi bays at a cost of Rs 110 crores is underway at the airport while the Rs 120 crore Airport building expansion works which has been sanctioned will commence in April.