Speaking on the occasion, Praful Patel assured Mangaloreans that the NITB will be declared a full-fledged international airport within a year and the cargo movement will also begin from here soon.
Reasoning the technical problems for the delay in declaring the Mangalore Airport as a full-fledged international one, he said that to gain that status, there must be a runway of 9,000 feet plus. “Currently Mangalore Airport has a run way of 8,000 feet. It is necessary to extend to 9,000 feet before formally declaring it as International Airport,” he said.
Responding to the public demand of launching direct flight to Saudi Arabia from Mangalore, he said that the dream will be realised immediately after extending the run way, which can take at least a year’s time.
Praful Patel also predicted that the Mangalore Airport will become one of the biggest and prominent Airports of the country.
M Veerappa Moily, Union Minster for Law, said that with the commissioning of NITB, Mangalore Airport is qualified to be formally declared as a full-fledged international airport. He said that being a fastest growing tier-2 city, Mangalore has all the potential to become a global financial capital.
Moily also called upon the Karnataka State Government to provide appropriate compensation to all those people, who had been evicted from the area in the process of building NITB.
B S Yeddyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, said that he is ready to provide any type of cooperation to Mangalore and its NITB. He said his government is constructing a new sophisticated road between the city and NITB.
The Chief Minister added that the inauguration of NITB in Mangalore and the airport in Mysore is very timely with only few days left for Global Investors Meet in Bangalore, in which investors from all over the world are expected to participate
G Janardan Reddy, State Tourism Minister, said that Karnataka holds the No.1 position in providing basic infrastructures to people. “The state Government is committed to construct more airports in Karnataka”, he said adding that land acquisition is already in process in 13 different parts of the state for the purpose of building new airports. He also said that the Government has cleared the way for constructing a four-lane road to the airport.
RV Deshpande, president of KPCC said that there is a need to launch direct flight from Mangalore to Saudi Arabia. Oscar Fernades, senior Congress leader, also requested the Civil Aviation Minister to consider the public demand of launching direct flight from Mangalore to Saudi Arabia seriously.
The newly inaugurated NITB has an area of approximately 18,220 square metres suitable to handle 500 domestic and 200 international passengers at peak hours. The building is made of glass and chrome. The structure is equipped with all modern passenger amenities such as Central Air Conditioning system, In-line X-Ray Baggage System integrated with departure conveyor system, inclined arrival baggage claim, carousals escalator, new glass lift, Public Address System, Flight Information Display System, Fire fighting System, and parking for about 500 cars.
Krishna J Palemar, District In-charge Minster, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Abhaychandra Jain, MLA, Rajani Dugganna, Mayor, and many other dignitaries were present.