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ON A GROWTH PATH:A view of the new integrated terminal building of Mangalore Airport.
MANGALORE: Passenger traffic at Mangalore Airport has been growing steadily for the past seven years. It handled more than eight lakh passengers in 2010 compared to 2.63 lakh passengers handled in 2004.
Meanwhile, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), a few days ago, invited bids for building an air traffic complex building to house its air traffic facilities. At present, these facilities are in its old terminal building at Bajpe.
The AAI handled 2.65 lakh passengers in 2005; 4.35 lakh passengers in 2006; 6.70 lakh passengers in 2007; 7.07 lakh passengers in 2008; 7.57 lakh passengers in 2009 and 8.04 lakh passengers last year.
Director of the airport M.R. Vasudeva attributed sudden spurt in the traffic flow in 2006 to aircraft operations to Dubai which began from October 2006. In that year, the passenger traffic went up by 1.70 lakh passengers compared to previous year.
Mr. Vasudeva told The Hindu that flight operations to Dubai in the last three months of 2006 added significantly for the growth of the traffic in that year. As flight operations to other destinations in West Asia such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Kuwait and Doha started in the following years contributed to the rise in traffic volume.
The commissioning of concrete 8,038-ft. long runway in May 2006 and adding other infrastructure facilities at the airport resulted in increase in the number of aircraft at the airport.
Mr. Vasudeva said that there would be a new building to house its Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities at an estimated cost of Rs. 26 crore.
The process of bidding is expected to be completed in three months. The bidder would have to build the new complex in 11 months. Hence the new building was expected to be ready next year.
At present, the airport provided air traffic services to planes flying in a radius of 256 nautical miles from the airport.
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