In December 2005 – two years ago, I wrote about the plan that the Airport Authority of India was making, to construct a regular airport in Mysore, India, my home town. Later on in April and May 2006 I followed up this story and made critical comments on how the airport project was making sound bites of the wrong kind and how the local media wasn’t getting it right either. As promised in my blog of April 2006, I am updating the news in my new blog that I use for writing only on aviation and aviation related matters.
I am late in updating news and that has been due to a combination of the fact that the much announced and much awaited (20 years or more in the waiting!) project ran into troubles from the start and also because I could not gather any information on the progress, if there was any, of the project because I was away overseas for all this time and no news or data was available on the internet about this airport. If you the reader attempt to research this airport on the internet, you’ll just come up with links to my blog and articles I had written last year on other online aviation magazines.
Well, I’m glad that this time I made it to Mysore on a very brief trip and managed to go to the construction site to see for myself what was going on. I had met the Airport Director of the Bangalore International Airport before heading down to Mysore and had a fair idea of how things had progressed in the time I was gone and since the days of my first writing on the subject two years ago. The Director had been candid about the problems they had faced and the commitment they had for the project that kept it going nevertheless.
(The present "terminal")
Here are some pictures of the Airport, a Second World War surplus airfield, with a grass strip that was once used to fly DC-3 Aircraft and trainer Aircraft such as the Famous biplane the Tiger Moth. These pictures at least give the impression of activity going on at the Mysore Airport. What I saw while I was there seemed impressive, truck loads of material was seen arriving every five minutes, material that would be used at the site. The main runway to cater initially for ATR-72 type Aircraft (68 passengers) is being completed. This will be extended in the second phase to accommodate larger Aircraft such as the Airbus A320/Boeing B737 types. When it gets done in the first phase, it will be a great place for companies to set up light Aircraft/corporate Aircraft maintenance and a flight school and the latter seems to be an idea that may be already in the pipeline, from an undisclosed private party.
(Path from the tarmac area towards the old terminal building)
What I could see is that their first goal of laying the runway was almost over and this is to be followed up by putting in the taxi ways, tarmac area and the airport terminal building. What you see in this picture is the original old “terminal” building that used to be operational even 20 years ago when Vayudhoot (a commuter airline those days) operated a Dornier 228 to and from Mysore using the grass runway. The present estimate for completion of the project is October of 2008 and the officials are confident of meeting this deadline. I’m planning on a trip out to Mysore Airport again sometime in May/June of next year. I’ll update the news on the developments and I’ll encourage Mysoreans to keep their fingers crossed in the meantime and hope that the Airport will be opened soon; it will bring a sigh of relief to the locals.
(construction equipment working on the main runway)
Happy Holidays and Happy 2008 to all, may everything that you aspire for, come true next year. Cheers.