Sunday, December 23, 2007

MYSORE AIRPORT – LATEST NEWS AND UPDATE

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.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am from Maldives but at the moment I am in Mysore because my wife is doing a degree course here. I like your post about the Mysore airport. As I haven't seen an an airport in Mysore, its good to know that there is a development plan for an airport. Well, happy new year to you and your family. Ahmed Farish, Maldives
a_farish@hotmail.com

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hi Ahmed, I was in Maldives for some time, heading Air Equator in Gan. As I write this, I am leaving Singapore for the US for Aircraft acquisition for my company here. Will blog about it next. I will update on the news about Mysore Airport as we get closer to opening sometime late 2008. Happy New Year to you and your family as well.

SKY said...

Good to know about the progress of Mandakalli airport. I couldn't make it there the last time I was in Mysore.

I wonder who the flight school operator is going to be. There have been reports of Jupiter Aviation (owned by Rajeev Chandrashekhar) starting one at the new Hasan airport. I have heard of several American schools being interested in setting up operations in India since there is a huge influx of students from India here and there are many more that can't make it due to visa issues.

Mysore would be an ideal place for training - not too busy, lower cost of living, and prettier cross country flights!

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Sky. An update on the Mysore Airport. It is slightly delayed they say. Instead of October, they'll open it in December. Fingers crossed. Lets see what happens. I also read about Jupiter aviation coming to Mysore. Not sure if that is true. Jupiter is also developing an airport in Hassan and it would make sense for them to use their own airport. Please update if you have any information. I'm at the air show in Singapore. I talked about it on my other blog http://mymysore72.blogspot.com/
I just finished day two of the air show and will blog about it shortly.

Aakko said...

i am from maldives and now also i am in maldives.but i want to know more about mysore coz i want to shift to there...can sumone pls help me to do that if possible?so i want to know more about the best school and etc.-aishath vidhaad(aakko2008@live.com)

Haris said...

hai everybody!
I am Mr. Haris from kerala.I am deeply interested in the propspects of the new Mysore airport. If anybody knows, please tell me when the airport will actually open for service. 8.9.2008

Hari said...

hai,
I am hari from kerala. I am deeply interested in mysore and its airport prospects. Any latest news on mysore airport? When will it be operational?
8.9.2008 hari

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Mr Haris and Mr Hari, Mysore airport was to open by this dasara if one believed the politicians! But they have said this previously many times, so it is anyone's guess. I did hear through some source that it may be early next year but who really knows! Pity.

Anonymous said...

Anup,

Any plans of your own to operate from Mysore airport (eg chartered aircraft, helicopters etc)?

Jammy97

Anonymous said...

Hi Anup,

Any plans to use Mysore airport (eg chartered services, helicopters)?

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hi Jammy97, no, I don't have any plans as of now to operate out of Mysore Airport. Pretty happy in Singapore and branching out in the region and the middle east.

Ravi said...

They did start operations with permission from civil aviation ministry during Dasara 2008:
http://mangalorean.com/news.php?newstype=local&newsid=95493

http://www.karnataka.com/watch/mysore-airport/

http://picasaweb.google.com/audreymaben/Dasara08#

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Ravi, thanks for updating the news. I wrote this article in Jan 2008. Good pictures in your links as well, microlight Aircraft offering joy rides during Dasara. I read about it on the web. September 8th I wrote expressing doubts about opening the airport and although charter operations were conducted in a limited manner, regular air services is still many months away. The readers may also note that such chartered flights used to land at Mandakalli even when it was just a grass strip, we even had sceduled Vayudhooth flights in the 80's that I have seen when I used to fly there. I hope that Mysore Airport opens fully to such scheduled flights, I will use it for sure and know a lot of others who will. Thanks for writing in Ravi, I appreciate your interest in my old articles as well.

Stone said...

Hi Capt Murthy,

I learnt my flying under CGI Chandran through 4 (KAR) Air Sqn NCC and was adjudged the unit's best glider pilot. I flew the Sedberg, Rohini and Ardhra at Mysore and later graduated to Cessna 152A at GFTS Jakkur. The pictures of Mandakalli airfield brought back great memories. I did my C and CC certificates through Aero Club of India. Would love to get back to flying, though I gear it is very expensive. Wish I could find someone to ssponsor my training and allow me to pay back once I'm trained.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hi Stone, what year were you in 4 Kar Air Sqn? I was there too, was Best Cadet at RD also in 1984, went for Overseas Air Cadets Exchange to Singapore same year, flew all the gliders as you did and trained under CGI Chandran as well! I was unit best glider pilot in 1982. Interesting to know that you did the same. Yeah, flying is expensive now, was cheap when I did CPL abroad 23 years ago and stayed out of the country most of it. Aviation is going through more upheavals. I write about aviation on this and my other blog: mymysore72.blogspot.com
Keep in touch mate, let me know when you were there at 4 Kar Air Sqn. Cheers.

sudhikg said...

Dear Capt Murthy
There seems to be no news regarding latest status of Mysore airport. There is a long spell of silence, do you by any chance whats happening currently.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Dear Sudhi, thanks for writing in. It is sad isn't it? I wrote this in December 2007 and till date the airport is not ready yet. There are different versions of stories as to why there is a delay. I have been trying to get information but nothing concrete has come out as yet. I will be visiting Mysore next month again and I hope I'll have information to blog about. I am also guilty of not keeping this blog up-to-date, although I do write a bit on my other blog: mymysore72.blogspot.com
Please keep an eye next month and I will post an update on Mysore airport. Thanks.

sudhikg said...

Dear Captain
Thanks a lot for updates! Being a fellow Mysorean I too am trying to keep a track of it from quite sometime.
Please check this url for some latest snaps: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=738080&page=3

Looking forward for some fresh news.

sudhikg said...

Dear Captain
Thanks for the updates!

Being a fellow Mysorean, I am trying to keep track of it from my level, please check this ulr for some latest snaps:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=38664524

Thanks.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Sudhikg, I saw the photo in Star of Mysore. I had to rush to Mysore earlier as my father was indisposed. I have had to go to BLR to attend to him. I should have time to speak with some people in the establishment next week and will hopefully have better news about the Mysore airport by then. Thanks again.