AAI officials visit facilities to check feasibility for commercial ops, which can start in 15 days if all-clear is given The recently launched Ude Desh Ka Aam Aadmi (UDAN) scheme has offered hope for the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) airport to once again start commercial flight operations. The airport has stayed closed for commercial operations since May 2008. A meeting was conveyed by the Airports Authority India (AAI), and its senior officers inspected the HAL terminal building and civil enclave for the feasibility of reopening it for commercial flights. The officers inspected the terminal building and discussed the various minimum required facilities for operationalisation of the terminal building. “Instructions were issued to clean up the terminal building and the city side area and it has already been taken up by the staff concerned,” an officer said. Further orders were issued to check all electrical fixtures, air-conditioning system, and conveyer system for making it feasible for repairing and operationalising the systems. The Communication Navigation and Surveillance requirement for operationalisation of the terminal include – one public address system, two x-ray baggage inspection screening systems, four door frame metal detectors, 30 hand-held metal detectors, CCTV, and flight information display systems. Besides, it was also proposed that the existing passenger baggage trolleys should be repaired and deployed. “If we receive a green signal we can start commercial operations within a span of 15 days. The NAVAIDs are in place as all south-bound aircraft go through our airspace. The conveyer belts are intact. The escalators and elevators would to be put in place. We also do not need any aero bridges as only 80 seater or small aircraft are operated under the UDAN scheme,” the officer said. Recently, the state government also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Civil Aviation under the scheme and 19 airports were identified to operate flights; the HAL airport was among them. The HAL airport ceased commercial operation in May 2008 following the opening of the Kempegowda International Airport. As per the concession agreement signed between the KIA’s developers and the government, no new airport or existing one can operate commercial flights within a 150-km radius (of KIA in Devanahalli) for the next 25 years. HAL, which owns the airport, has been requesting the ministry to start operations, stating it has been incurring heavy losses.

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