BCCF condemns decision to close down HAL airport

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Bangalore, May 16 (UNI) The Bangalore City Connect Foundation (BCCF), a multi-stakeholder platform for the city's citizens, today condemned the Civil Aviation Ministry's decision to close down the HAL Airport here once the greenfield International Airport starts operation on May 23.

Addressing a press conference here, Foundation Chairman M Lakshminarayan said the controversy over the confessional agreement, which the Centre had signed with the private promoters of Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), including Zurich International Airport, Siemens and L and T, continued to rage as the public and the business community were against the closure of the HAL Airport.

The main problem with the new airport was connectivity as it was situated 40 km away from the city and in the opposite direction of the major industrial establishments, including multinational IT and BT industries on the southern and eastern sides of the city.

The Ministry, which held a meeting following the direction of the Supreme Court and the Karnataka High Court, had swiftly decided that running two airports in the city was not feasible and that it was against the confessional agreement signed between the promoters of BIAL and the Centre.

The BCCF demanded that the confessional agreement should be reviewed in the interests of the public and in the changed circumstances as the new airport, with a single runway, would not be able to handle the bludgeoning air traffic in the city, which was expected to reach 15 million air passengers next year, Mr Lakshminarayan said.

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