Hi All, for those of you who have been following the story on my blog about Mysore airport, here's the latest. I was in Mysore recently, just a few days back and found that the tarmac and runway is ready at the Mysore Airport. There have been some chartered flights that have already operated in and out of the Airport on unscheduled visits, having obtained prior special permission to land at Mysore. For those who live in Mysore or have been reading some sites on the net, they would already know this information. For those who don't have the latest, here is what's been going on.
The last item for development before the Airport can be officially opened is the terminal building. As it appears, the work is going on in full swing. Credible reports from the current DC of Mysore Mr. Manivannan suggests that the Airport will be open in time for Dasara 2009. That's around the last week of September this year. Some readers may laugh at this because several Dasara festivals in Mysore have come and gone with politicians of every hue and color making statements that the Airport would be ready by Dasara time. This time, it may be believed because the statement comes from the DC of Mysore, a person who I credit all positive things that are happening there. If there is an honest, upright and dynamic officer, then Manivannan is the man and he has been an asset to Mysore notwithstanding the political pressures that his office may experience and the threat of transfers of such good officers, again coming from politicians of every hue and color.
So after much waiting, decades of it in fact, maybe we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Naysayers are still at work saying that the Airport is inadequate, large Aircraft cannot operate from them and that additional land needs to be acquired, this is not the end of the story..blah..blah...blah.
It is left to the operator to decide whether there is enough traffic from Mysore for large Aircraft and if so, what sectors would make sense and so on. Airline business is not a charity, it is highly sensitive and break even/loss making at the best of times. To speak of the current situation where load factors on known, established routes have come down drastically and every one painting red on their Balance Sheets, one cannot expect anything more from the industry. The point is, at last we have an airport that can see commercial operations. Let's hope it is viable for operators to come in with ATR turboprops to begin with. Let's see what sectors will be offered and whether those sectors make enough sense in the long run for the operator to stay on this route. If the viability fails, it does not matter how big the Airport is or what it can handle in terms of Aircraft. If viability fails, we will have an airport either with sporadic service or none at all. Lets hope this becomes viable in the long term and it appears that way at the moment. I, for one, will await with some eagerness, to see the day we have air services into Mysore. Hopefully it is in September this year!