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With new facilities, Mangaluru airport set for significant growth

Florine Roche
Pics: Joshwa D'Souza
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Mar 10: A slew of measures have been undertaken in the last two-three years to improve the infrastructure, efficiency, safety, security and facilities of the passengers at the Mangalore International Airport. These measures are now becoming operational one by one, thus bringing about an overall improvement in infrastructure and in the quality of service provided to the passengers at this airport. The second taxiway, addition of two aero bridges, shifting of high frequency omni range radar from Kaikamba to the airport area, installing primary radar near old airport, enhancing parking base for aircraft from 6 to 8, completion of exit road, more flights to Gulf, Bengaluru and Mumbai - these are some of the facilities that will add to the existing infrastructure at the airport.

In addition, the work pertaining to expansion of the international arrival hall with additional conveyor belt facility will be in place within the next two yours. The state government and district administration has been working on the process of land acquisition for the crucial work of extension of the existing runway which is very important for safety and also to enable larger aircrafts to operate from this airport.

Crucial time saver

The eagerly awaited second parallel taxiway at MIA is now in the final stages and is getting ready for operation by the end of April 2016. With this Mangalore International Airport (MIA) will be able to handle air traffic more effectively and without delays. This 2nd taxiway has been a major and persistent requirement as the existing single taxiway used to cause delays. The taxiway is an important link between the runway and apron near the terminal building and presently only one taxiway is used for entry and exits, resulting in delays.

Director of Airport J T Radhakrishna talking to daijiworld.com pointed out that as of now aircrafts which are ready for takeoff have to wait for 15 to 20 minutes if the arrival and departure of flights coincide. "Now some electrical and drain work is pending and this is expected to be completed within the next two months. Only when a flight arrived is parked the other flight can move out. As such, it causes delays and inconvenience to the passengers. But with the 2nd taxiway we will be able to address this issue of flight delays and with this we are fulfilling one of the major demands of the passengers. The new taxiway will come in handy in the long run particularly when the number of flights are expected to increase in the airport once the expansion work of the runway gets completed.

The work of the 2000 meters long 2nd taxiway which is carried out in two phases had begun in September 2014. The first phase includes completion of 1200 metres - 600 meters each on the east and 600 meters on the west. "We have completed all the major work on the 2nd taxiway and now only the electrical and work on drains is pending. This will be completed by the end of April," Radhakrishna stated. He further pointed out that the remaining 800 meters of the work is expected to be completed by December this year. "The second phase of the work will commence only after we are done with this task on hand. We need another 100 crore for the next phase as there is a huge valley that comes in this area."

Radhakrishna also pointed out that with the increase in aircraft movement and also with an overall 25 per cent passenger growth this year there is a necessity to increase the aerobridges. Hence two additional aerobridges will be introduced for the convenience of passengers within a year’s time probably by March 2017. But the groundwork for the process for the same has already begun says Radhkrishna. Mangalore experiences rainfall for about four months and the aerobridge facility will be a great boon to the passengers.

Exit road ready in a month

Another important facility which will help ease the vehicular traffic movement on the airport road will be the completion of the two lane exit road. At the moment the entry road is being used for two-way traffic causing inconvenience and confusion. Work on the exit road which had begun in 2013 is finally getting completed soon and will be thrown open to public in a month’s time. If everything goes as per the plan, by first week of April Mangalore International Airport will have separate entry and exit points.

More flights to Gulf

There is good news for Gulf passengers, who comprise a sizeable chunk of the passengers using Mangalore International Airport. Plans are in the offing to increase frequency of flights to Dubai and an additional flight to Dammam and Sharjah is also in the pipeline. For domestic customers especially those travelling to Bengaluru and Mumbai there is something to cheer about in the form of additional flights from Mangalore. Presently there are 10 flights to Bengaluru on a daily basis and Jet Airways is introducing two new flights to this route and one additional flight to Mumbai from March 27, 2016.

More spacious International arrival hall

An important grouse of international passengers at MIC is the delay in the collection of luggage on arrival as there is only one conveyor belt and lack of space at the arrival hall. To address this problem plans are mooted to add two more conveyor belts to the existing one. This is a major work in terms of cost and time required for its implementation. A separate building has to be constructed for this purpose and for this the deep valley in the vicinity needs to be filled. The cost of the new building is estimated at about Rs. 40 crore and it will take about two years for its completion. However, steps will be taken to immediately increase the space at the international arrival hall for the convenience of the travellers.

By December 2016, the parking base of aircrafts at MIA will go up to 8 from the existing six flights. The work on the pavements has already started. This will again help in reducing the delay in boarding and de-boarding of passengers.

On the communication front, plans are underway to shift the high frequency Omni range radar will be shifted from Kaikamba to the airport. Radars help in proper navigation of the aircraft on ground and on air and shifting it from Kaikamba will give a big relief to the residents in and around Kaikamba apart from enhancing the safety measure at the airport.

However, the crucial work on the extension of the runway by about 2000 feet, a suggestion mooted to increase the safety, is yet to commence. Radhakrishna stated that the responsibility of acquiring 93 acres of land required for the purpose vests with the district administration of Mangalore. As the surrounding acquisition site is a deep valley the expansion work requires a huge investment of about Rs. 300 crores. It is said that the district administration has submitted a proposal to Karnataka government in this regard.

As regards the controversy surrounding scuffle between the airport taxi drivers association and online taxi giant Ola cab he clarified that the Airport Taxi Association is paying Rs. 1.5 lakhs per month for running the service. This association is functioning for more than 25 years and comprise drivers from around the airport area as part of a welfare measure. But he says passengers arrive or depart in their private vehicles need not pay any amount if they leave the building within 7 minutes of their arrival.

Rumours – A distraction tactic

Clarifying on the issue of rumours being floated concerning the safety, security, immigration, traffic management and convenience Radhakrishna dispelled them as an orchestrated ploy to divert the real issue. "Of course there are a few security issues which might prove irksome to the travellers. But every officer has to go through the personal profile of the traveller and a few questions will be asked. It is a normal process and passengers should not consider it as an affront and should cooperate. We the officials have to be extra cautious with regard to security issues in the prevailing situation and we cannot be easy-going on this aspect," he declared.

He further added, "Now the airport is completely automated there should not be ambiguity in this regard. If officials treat the passengers badly it will be there on record. He also stated that the recent allegation about tearing visa of passengers by customs officials is unfounded. However, he urged the passengers not to get swayed by such rumours and to bring to the notice of the concerned if they any issues pertaining to their travel. "The very fact that we are able to catch those who smuggle the yellow metal vindicates us. It is only the affected people who vent their anger on us out of frustration," he explained.

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Comment on this article

  • Krishna, Karkala

    Sun, Mar 13 2016

    Please start Airport shuttle bus services to Managalore, Udupi Manipal.
    Why only flights to Gulf ?
    Please also start flights to Singapore. I am sure there is at least passengers for thrice a week flights to Singapore.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Denver Roche, Manipal/Kuwait

    Thu, Mar 24 2016

    There are lots of Students from Countries like, China, Singapore, Malaysia etc in Manipal... It would be a great relief to them if There would be Direct flights to these nations. The Airport authorities must consider all these facts seriously..

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • SMR, Karkala

    Sat, Mar 12 2016

    Unless Airport staff behaviour(Customs,immigration) doesn't improve MIA is going to lose.

    As of now MIA is only good for baggage handling to find 'GOLD'.

    Airport tax which I pay is worthless for any service they offer.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • nandini menon, mangalore

    Sat, Mar 12 2016

    while things are changing for good, the international arrival is pathetic. especially luggage handling. if 2 flights land 30 minutes of each other it takes more than an hour to get your bags out. while new building can take time, there has to be immediate temporary measure to make this better. one suggestion is to have one of the baggage belts and space in domestic area also used for international at specific times ( early morning) when there are hardly any domestic arrivals. in addition the vehicle pick up should be allowed from parking area and not crowd around near the arrival zone - its painful as well as a safety hazard.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dolphy Vas, AbuDhabi

    Sat, Mar 12 2016

    The efforts of MIA Management should be appreciated for the ongoing improvements at the Airport.One should bare in mind that the terrain around the airport is not normal and challenging for Infrastructure/runway extension. It also adds huge additional costs for construction.
    However progress and improvements is a necessity. The Runway extension and new International arrival hall with additional Conveyor belts,bigger Duty Free shops, Public phone booths etc. should be fast Tracked.
    There should not be compromise on Safety and security.Officers have very right to question the passengers and passengers should cooperate. On Flights to USA there are 3 safety checks in addition to lengthy questioning and no passengers Complains!!. Why Complain only in India. It is good for safety of all passengers.
    For the cost why not authorities approach private partnership as practiced in Kerala. As there are many wealthy NRIs I a sure they will contribute if proper Financial Instruments are created.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Wilfred Pinto , kuwait ,kinnigoly

    Fri, Mar 11 2016

    Arrival baggage handling is irresponsible in mangalore. Bottles and suitcase are broken. This has to be rectified.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Femina, Dubai

    Fri, Mar 11 2016

    Waiting for MIA to be branded as customer friendly airport.
    Pink Taxis should be introduced for lone woman which should have a female drivers only who should be highly professionals.
    Taxi drivers should be trained very well to give the best hospitality which in turn will be advantage for the MIA.
    There should be phone booths inside airport premises.Not every traveller has sim ready with them.Please do the best in favour of travellers
    -Thank you

    DisAgree Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Fri, Mar 11 2016

    Ted, why should I come by train when I can afford a driver ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anilkumar, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    What is being done to prevent fleecing of passengers by taxi unions? How can taxi fares keep on increasing so frequently? Why not provide proper bus service to airport? Why are OLA taxis not available at airport?

    What about continuing harassment by customs people? Customs people have comparatively less "bakras"in Mangalore and therefore they try to harass even the honest ones.
    Just boasting about improvement in airports is not enough. See that the passengers are comfortable.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Neville Fernandez, Antigua/Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Nice to hear about all these new facilities coming to Mangalore airport. Looking forward to the runway extension work beginning.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dominic, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Wait till the Kannur International airport becomes functional and the traffic load gets diverted. Then they will be scratching heads on how to utilize the new facilities with reduced load. Just taxpayers money down the drain. Thats what happens when you have two international airports so close to each other

    DisAgree [4] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Fri, Mar 11 2016

    @ Dominic,

    smuggling activities will also be shifted to Kannur as well.

    Mangalore passengers can have more relief too.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aman, Halady, Kundapur / jeddah

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Why not think about Jeddah - IXE direct flight. It will help to Umrah & Hajj pilgrims too.
    Mr.JP Hegde struggled for this.But now no one raise this issue.Mr.Radhakrishna please try to find solution for long outstanding request. It will helpful for working near Jeddah sector.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh G., Mangalore / Dubai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    "But he says passengers arrive or depart in their private vehicles need not pay any amount if they leave the building within 7 minutes of their arrival."
    Mr Radhakrishna, please be realistic. Its not easy as drinking 7 Up in 7 Minutes. Lets make it at least 15.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [68] Reply Report Abuse

  • Nihaal, Mangalore/Muscat

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Hi Rajesh G,
    Quite practical actually. What I do is wait outside and ask my friend/relative who is arriving to call as soon as he/she exits the arrival hall and stand towards the left. Then I leave and go towards the exit of the arrival hall, pick them up and load luggage and quickly make way for the exit counter - all within 7 minutes. This is realistic and practical unless you have a first time visitor or aged people etc. And at least they are giving this option - under 7 minutes free - otherwise in other airports you have to pay, no matter how much time you are inside.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Marle, Mangaluru

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Significant growth, only to be jammed near Nanthoor and Pumpwell.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • N Shetty, Manglore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Dear Mr Marle...The Jam on the Highway is a matter to be dealt with NHAI not AAI.....

    DisAgree [2] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Marle, Mangaluru

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Thanks for the eye opener! What else can you expect from me.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Ifthikhar, Mangalore / KSA

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    As the the extension of the runway of 2000 feet could not commence as of now I am of the opinion that this is only a cheap talk and nothing is materializing here unlike Kerala airports.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • shuba, mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Even after trying to clear many hurdles airport authorities are not able to solve goondagiri of taxi association and invite the passengers to their mode of transport. We can which flight we should fly but at the end when we exit at the airport we have to be at the mercy of stupid taxi association and their demands. Why should this be a big issue when passengers are not treated well and given a smooth ride home.

    DisAgree Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    I will shift to Mangalore only if I get a direct flight to New York ...

    DisAgree [124] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ted, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Train mein safar karne wale, flight ki baatein nahi karte

    DisAgree [12] Agree [45] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Ted, only your Modi goes by train to NY ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Ted, my driver drives me to Mangalore ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pushpadhanthaha, Jeppina Mogeru

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Nice one, and that you liked your comment and none else!

    DisAgree [11] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • PINTO, Doha/Qatar

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Keep dreaming and until your dream comes true travel from Mumbai.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • Stan, Udupi/ Dubai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    No difference between you and politicians, only self interest.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Because of my incessant perseverance the Airport has reached this stage.
    You guys deserve TABLE TOP AIRPORT ...

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Syed, Udupi

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Once Kannor Airport becomes operational, MIA will have less traffic and the frequency of flights will be reduced to half of the present frequency.

    DisAgree [57] Agree [52] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kishor, Mumbai

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    think positive yaar

    DisAgree [25] Agree [43] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santosh,K, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Mangalore airport was started from 25 December 1951. Until now lot of passengers are travelling from this airport with less destination.Why some people always Say Kannoor , Kannor !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DisAgree [14] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Adrian, Dubai / Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    To take it positively. Due to competition the airfare might reduce.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Abdul kader, kasaragod

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Sayed bhai, aap ka sahi comment.

    DisAgree [21] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen, Mangalore

    Thu, Mar 10 2016

    Less kasaragod passengers, then less job to customs officers. less job to customs then less gold in government's treasury.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : With new facilities, Mangaluru airport set for significant growth


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