History and Future of Civil Aviation in Mysuru

Mysore Airport, is an airport serving Mysuru city. It is located near the village of Mandakalli, 10 kilometres south of the city, and is owned and operated by the Airport Authority of India.

History

Front View of the Mysuru Airport

The airport’s history dates to the 1940s, when it was constructed by the Kingdom of Mysore. Passenger service, training flights of the Indian Air Force and other operations took place at Mysore Airport during its first several decades.

In 1940, the Princely State of Mysore had established the airport on 290 acres of land. Following Indian independence in 1947, the Government of Karnataka assumed control of the airfield. The Ministry of Civil Aviation took control in 1950. Passenger service to Bangalore using Dakota aircraft began, but it did not last long as people found travel by road to be faster.

Back View of the Mysuru Airport

Afterwards, the airfield was used by charter flights carrying foreign tourists and by flights transporting dignitaries to the city. The Indian Air Force operated training flights at the airport as well. In 1985, regional airline Vayudoot commenced thrice weekly flights from Bangalore. At the time, Mysore Airport consisted solely of a grass airstrip and a one-roomed terminal with one toilet. Because of low passenger loads, the flights ended in 1990.

Few years later, on October 1, 2010, Kingfisher airlines started operations. Due to company crisis, Kingfishers stopped all operations from October 2011 onward. The newly upgraded airport was left unused for 14 months until SpiceJect began flights to Chennai on January 14, 2013.

UDAN, a central government scheme to boost domestic civil aviation gave a new lease of life to Mysuru airport, by sanctioning 10 new flights under the scheme

Infrastructure

Areal View of the Mysuru Airport

Spreading on an area of 661 acres, the airport at Mysore has limited number of flights from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Goa & Belagavi. The runway at the airport measures 1,858 meters. At present, ground lighting facilities are not available at the Mysore airport.

There is only one domestic terminal at the airport which has the capacity to handle 200 passengers during peak hours. The terminal is well equipped with all the required amenities like baggage services, free trolleys, book stall, medicine store, juice and snacks corner, magazine stalls and provision of duty free shopping. Also, wheel chair assistance is available for the aged as well as physically challenged passengers.

Future Plans

Night View of The Mysuru Airport

New development works at the Mandakalli Airport in Mysuru have picked up pace to attract more air travellers.

Elaborating on the new development projects, new Runway Underpass will come up on the right side of the Airport building for more accessibility. This under bridge will provide easy access to the Airport and also help evacuate people from the building in case of emergencies. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) has already been prepared and tenders are expected to be floated soon after approvals.

Proposed Runway Underbridge at Mysuru Airport, which will be first of it’s kind in the country

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Authority has already issued security clearance for the proposed underpass in which the existing four-lane National Highway 766 will pass below the runway. Once the project is completed, it will be the first-of-its-kind airport in the country, where the runway will be over the underpass. We see this kind of Airports only in foreign countries.

For the expansion of the current runway to to 7,900 feet and 45 metres, around 300 acres of extra land is required. The process to acquire land is already on. This allows jet aircraft such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 to land at Mysore Airport.

Connectivity

Time lapse of Mysuru Airport – Mysuru City Roadway

Since Mysore Airport is just a few kilometres away from the main city centre, the passengers can easily find buses, taxis, and auto rickshaws. Moreover, one can easily find car hire companies near the airport as well. Some of the famous car hire companies operating in Mysore are Alpha Travel House, Guru Tours, and Travels, Skyway international Travels, Travel India, FCM Travel Solutions and Safe Wheels Tours and Travels.

Occupancy

The occupancy rates of both incoming and outgoing flights from Mysuru have reached a new high, triggering interest among private airlines keen to operate from the city. The average occupancy rate of both incoming and outgoing flights to Hyderabad is at 94% per cent while it was 86% in case of flights to Chennai. Occupancy rates of flights to Kochi and Goa introduced recently under UDAN 3 are also above 72%. Of the flights operating out of Mysuru, it is only the Bengaluru route that is relatively less patronised. It has an average occupancy rate of 58% which is also considered good.

As on date there are 16 flights at Mysuru airport and 43,738 travellers have used the airport in that last quarter, which is a 120% increase compared to previous year. A total of 808 flights have flown to and from Mysuru airport during this time.

Future looks good for civil aviation in Mysuru region with many plans to upgrade Mysuru airport and also a nee proposal to build a greenfield International Airport at Shettihalli in Srirangapattana, to compliment the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore.

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