Mysore, May 16-The Mysore Airport, which has been waiting to welcome private airlines like the several City 'Keres' that welcome migratory birds, may soon be able to do so as Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa has said that an early decision would be taken on the 4 per cent rebate in Sales Tax (ST) on aviation fuel apart from a subsidy of Rs. 25 crore to facilitate flight operations.

The Chief Minister made this announcement after a memorandum was given to him at the dedication of the Mysore Airport at Mandakalli yesterday.

Referring to the land acquisition for expansion of the runway and addition of other facilities, Yeddyurappa said that land had been identified and talks had already taken place with the farmers and only the quantum of compensation had to be fixed.

There would not be fiscal crunch where compensation was concerned as the State coffers were full. It was now up to the district administration to work out the details, he stressed.

Meanwhile, Minister for Tourism G. Janardana Reddy stated that there had been a positive response for Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India and talks had been held with officials of these airlines.

Earlier all major private airlines, including national carrier Air India, had declined invitations to fly to the newly-built airport in Mysore, citing poor passenger load factor.

Kingfisher Airlines, which operates flights from 61 domestic destinations, has till now not decided to operate flights from Mysore. "As long as a destination makes commercial sense, we will explore all opportunities seriously," a spokesperson said.

It is believed that Air India also cannot take off from Mysore airport. "We would have loved to start Mysore-Delhi or Mysore-Mumbai flight, but at the moment we will not operate flights from Mysore as it is non-jet compliant," said a senior official.

"Big aircraft cannot land at the Mysore airport which has been built for ATR's. We have 189 seats and it will be a challenge to fill the aircraft," said Spice Jet Chief Commercial Officer.

Mysore is being positioned as "catchment area," and the CII study indicated that there would be 6,000 passengers per month from corporate sector in Mysore, excluding tourist traffic.

MP seeks subsidy for airline operators

Mysore, May 16 (KK & DM)- A tax holiday was essential if the government was serious about promoting tourism, said MP H. Viswanath while urging the government to grant Rs. 25 crore subsidy to private airline operators so that air operations are viable. Speaking after the inauguration of the Mysore airport at Man-dakalli yesterday, Viswanath said that even the S.M. Krishna government had given a tax holiday to promote tourism.

Viswanath said a package deal could be worked out for boosting tourism in Mysore, Mandya, Kodagu, Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu districts . He also suggested that Mysore be linked with Shirdi. Earlier, Viswanath and M. Lakshmana of ACICM handed over a memorandum to the Chief Minister seeking subsidy for private airline operators.

162 acres land acquisition for airport expansion

Mysore, May 16 (KK&DM)- Measures would be taken to boost tourism in Tier II cities, said Tourism Minister G. Janardana Reddy here yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Mysore Airport inauguration at Mandakalli here, Reddy said that the second phase of making the airport accessible to larger craft would begin with the acquisition of 162 acres of land.

The Minister said that since a section of the NH-212 lay in the land needed, the road would have to be diverted with a detour. He further said that the Deputy Commissioner had already sent a proposal regarding this and that talks had been held with farmers.

Reddy, commenting that Amba Vilas Palace was as famous as Madame Tussad’s in London, said that 25 lakh visitors including five lakh foreigners visit the Palace every year. The Tourism Minister said the blueprint for a tourism circuit linking Mysore-Hassan-Madikeri-Chamarajanagar was ready. Stating that Heli-tourism would be started, he claimed that Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) projects were on an upswing.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore