The industrial hub of Hosur in Tamil Nadu may have its own airport, with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) seeking proposals from consultants to assess demand, forecast air traffic and identify potential sites for the project.
A domestic airport in Hosur, less than 40 km away from Bengaluru, will also be a boon for the city’s southern residents who currently have to travel a long time to reach the Kempegowda International Airport located on the other part of the city. The IT hub of Electronic City in southeast Bengaluru would benefit most as the travel time to Hosur from south Bengaluru is barely half an hour.
According to multiple reports, just last week, the Tamil Nadu government signed an MoU with the ministry of civil aviation to launch low cost-air services from the Hosur Aerodrome (so far a private airfield maintained by Taneja Aerospace and Aviation). The airfield is currently used by private chartered flights and by the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation for testing unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Centre has granted approval for use of the Hosur airport under the Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik or UDAN scheme meant to improve regional connectivity. Hosur is under the lens as it is fast emerging as a hub for electric scooters and their accessories like batteries, and the government feels an airport is essential for the hub since it is a favoured investor destination.
A study on the airport project has been commissioned to identify at least three potential sites for setting up the airport, analyse air traffic growth trends in the past decade in nearby airports, forecast traffic for the next 30 years and assess the catchment area of the proposed airport, and availability of landside road and rail connectivity, government officials were quoted as saying.
Another official said: “We feel Hosur should have an exclusive airport given its status as an industrial hub which will only grow in the coming years. The distance from Bengaluru airport to Hosur is also a factor. We are exploring all possibilities.”
The Hosur airport will, however, need approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) before it can become operational. Also, under the UDAN scheme, airports are likely to only have flights connecting smaller cities and towns, which may affect the new Hosur airport’s prospects as the demand from nearby Bangalore would be for flights to and from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai or Hyderabad.