On January 17 this year, speaking at the Wings India 2020 Summit organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary stated that five airports in Karnataka will become operational in the next two years. These will be at Vijayapura, Shivamogga, Karwar, Chikkamagaluru and Bidar. “We have airports in all parts of the State now. A couple of months ago, the Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) airport was made operational. Aviation has become an engine of economic growth,” the Secretary said at the summit.
Bidar airport will be leading with civil flight operations expected to commence in a month under the ambitious Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. “Bengaluru has the potential to become the aviation capital of the country,” he went on to say. “We have operationalised nearly 40 airports in the last five years and the target in the next five years is to double the number of operational airports and helipads in the country,” the Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola further said. These new airports in Karnataka are part of the Centre’s UDAN scheme. 13 flights will be operating out of Belagavi. TruJet has already started flight operations from Belagavi to Tirupati, Mysuru and Hyderabad daily. Flights operate to destinations such as Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Jodhpur and others. UDAN airports have already seen some success. Belagavi and Hubballi airports were two out of five of India’s busiest UDAN airports in 2019. The other three are Prayagraj, Kishangarh and Jharsuguda.