23 Sept 2009: Charter flight landed in MYQ Airport carrying tourists on the Dasara trail. I hope the service lasts beyond Dasara, and hope that if such is the case, the DGCA will complete its certification works of the Airport and we can look forward to long lasting service. I hope I am not overly optimistic!
LATEST NEWS AS ON DATE; 21 SEPTEMBER 2009:
I am not sure how long this link to Star of Mysore archives will be available online. In short, it says that Mysore Airport Inauguration has been put off indefinitely. There is going to be nothing happening for a while. There are no flights announced and none planned by any Airline, hence no one interested in opening an empty airport. All we have are false assurances from various authorities and ministers. SOM report claims that all that is false. Saga continues....
Star of Mysore link: http://starofmysore.com/main.asp?type=news
SCROLL DOWN TO READ UPDATES PREVIOUS UPDATES.
OK, here is a bit of disappointing news, if true. Indian Express online today says that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is not going to visit Mysore and conduct inspection before Dasara. They do not have the time to conduct this detailed and elaborate inspection at this time. The earliest inspection may be done sometime after December.
What does this mean to you and me? Well, nothing much really, no Airline had come forward to operate to and from Mysore to any point anyway. Global Vectra Helicopters had made a statement that they would like to operate a helicopter service. Well, that's going to be too bloody expensive, pardon my French.
Now, to save face, the State Government may still go ahead and inaugurate the Airport. Since it won't mean much, the same can be symbolic. Let us Mysoreans take it on the chin, again. Can they run the Airport without DGCA permissions? Of course they can, like they used to on the grass strip that existed before, minus the Control Tower of course, maybe minus the Meteorological service for the operators (if any operator, that is), minus fueling (that facility isn't even ready), minus fire fighting services (God, I hope not).
Well, here is the silver lining: Sources have been quoted saying that the State can still operate chartered flights "at it's own risk" even if DGCA clearance is not done before Dasara. That's how chartered flights used to fly into Mysore in the past. What a tangled web we weave. This is like someone playing April fools day in September. Fingers crossed and hope to fly!
UPDATED 19 September: No charter flight into MYQ Airport! What happened? Sri Sri Ravishankar arrived by Road to inaugurate Dasara. The Chief Minister arrived by Helicopter and landed at Lalitha Mahal Helipad. No one came in any chartered Kingfisher Aircraft like it had been announced before!
UPDATED on 16 September: Latest report says the Chief Minister and his entourage and Sri Sri Ravishankar and entourage are going to be landing at the new Mysore Airport (MYQ) on the 19th of September in a chartered ATR Aircraft. However, this will be a one off flight and is not the real inauguration of the Airport. The "official" inauguration may be on the 22nd of September when Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel visits Mysore. Don't know how far this is true either. Earlier report spoke of the PM visiting and inaugurating the Airport.
Latest from Mysore's paper says that Kingfisher will fly between Bangalore and Mysore in an ATR 42 (50 seat) between 22nd and 26th of September. Kingfisher will then start weekend services from Mysore to other destination such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Goa! Have they been reading my blog? hehehe...