It is not very keen on operating flights only under UDAN scheme as then it cannot collect landing charges Though Tamil Nadu has offered to open up its Hosur Air Station for Bengalureans under the recently-launched Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme, there is also hope that the HAL airport would be a second airport in the city for short-haul flights. However, the defence PSU does not want its airport to be bracketed as an under-served or unserved one that operates flights under the UDAN scheme. It wants the airport to function as a full-fledged one and only then HAL can collect landing charges from the aircraft. Under the UDAN scheme, only aircraft with or below 80 seats are allowed to operate. Aircraft classified in three categories are allowed to operate – with 20 seats or fewer, with 21 to 80 seats and fewer than 80 seats. “Aircraft with 80 seats or less are exempted from paying the landing fee charge at airports. So under the UDAN scheme, airport operators cannot collect landing fees. That is why HAL is keen to make it a full-fledged airport,” a source said. Senior officers of the Airport Authority India (AAI) have already inspected the terminal building for operationalisation of the airport’s civil enclave. Orders were issued a couple of months ago to check the electrical fixtures, air-conditioning and conveyor systems to make it feasible for repair so that systems at the terminal building can be operationalised. “All the obsolete systems are being replaced,” an AAI official said. HAL, which owns the airport, has been requesting the ministry of civil aviation to start operations, saying it has been incurring heavy losses after it ceased commercial operation in May 2008 after the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) became functional. As per the concession agreement signed between KIA’s developers and the government, no new airport or existing one can operate commercial flights with a 150-km radius (of KIA in Devanahalli) for the next 25 years. The HAL airport, barring the 2013-14 period, has not posted any profit in the last few years. During that year, it posted a profit of Rs 63.98 crore. During 2012-13, it incurred a loss of Rs 44.26 crore and during 2014-15 and 2015-16 it incurred losses to the tune of Rs 11.54 crore and Rs 11.79 crore respectively.

Source: http://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/

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