Monday, February 13, 2006

MYSORE AIRPORT UPDATE

I have been working on a nice long article on Mysore Airport and will be posting it shortly. This Airport has been in the news for long and mostly for the wrong reasons. The Airport is a piece of land that has a “dirt strip” and hosting the N.C.C gliding and microlight training presently. Yours truly used to be one of those “flight cadets” in the early 1980’s and flew more than 800 glider flights over a period of three years.

The latest news was about a delay in handing over the additional tracts of land to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) by the State Government. There was a contentious 20 acre piece of land that had not been acquired as the land owners had gone to court on the issue. That small piece was holding up the hand over from the KIADB to the AAI.

The local Member of Parliament (MP) convened a meeting of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) for Mysore and the KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board) the nodal agency for acquisition of additional land. The meeting was at noon, today, the 13th of February 2006. So, this article is just hot off the press. The MP has asked the DC to hand over the acquired and uncontested tract of land measuring around 155 acres to the AAI to start the work. The remaining 20 acres or so may be negotiated in due course of time. That is a good solution and ensures that no more delays plague this project, touch wood (!).

The works will now start sometime in April this year and is likely to take 18 months to complete. I will be blogging about the details of the development of this Airport as the project progresses.

There’s one more tidbit of news about Airports in Karnataka. The new Chief Minister of the State has announced today that each district will have an Airport in the State. Looking at some of his early statements since he assumed office last week, he seems to be a man on a mission. He is a young chap, in his mid forties and that may work in his favor in terms of energy and ideas. Let’s hope he can walk the talk. This kind of development is a welcome one for the State and indeed for the country.

23 comments:

GVK said...

That 20 acres held up in litigation. Would anyone know where it figures in the 174-scre lay of the land? Are all the 20 acres in one chunk ? Would it cover the ATC building or a patch at the tailend of a runway? Such info. could help schedule the pace of civil work.
Why can't our 'concerned' cicitzens pressure landowners give up their stance, in favour of wider, and a larger public interest. They may be legally right in their action. Could anyone say that their action serves the best social interest?

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

My reply to GVK. I am going to approach the DC's office to see if the plan is available. I'd like to see where this piece of 20 acres is and whether it is critical to have that. As for the runaway, the exisiting one (05/23 alignment)has one end at the Ooty road and the other end near the railway tracks. There is no possibility of expansion in these areas and hence the 20 acres cannot be in this area. However, reading from news reports, the runway is going to be lengthened. The only way this can be done, is to re-align the runway. Perhaps in this re-alignment area, the 20 acres lie. I will update the information as soon as I can see the plan.
As for the Mysore based NGO's, there's not even a peep from them regarding this issue and the delays associated with it, especially the Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens (ACICM) as they call themselves. Sadly, no Mysorean is showing much interest except that any one you talk to here really wants to have an airport.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

There is a longish article about Mysore and Mysore Airport that I have put up on an aviation blog site: http://www.airlineempires.net/

The article is aimed at mostly US and other foreign readers and is more like a travelogue to help understand the region. The article does have a lot of other details.

Updates on Mysore Airport will continue to appear on mymysore.com blog.

Madhukar said...

You mention of the lengthening of the runway and the only way it can be done is by realigning the runway. As a matter of curiocity, i remember the Mysore airstrip is aligned with the runway running east west. My observation in Bangalore is that the runway here is also aligned east west. is there any logic behind it or can the runway be aligned in any other direction?

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Good question Mr. Madhukar. As mentioned in one of my replies, the runway alignment is 05/23 at the moment at Mysore. That is North East/South West.

let me tell you how runways alignments are made. The authorities first take an account of the average wind direction on a yearly basis for the last 100 years from Met department observations and then, looking at possible obstacles, they will allign the runway to best suit the Aircrafts take off and landing direction. Aircraft take off and land into the wind to help get the best lift that is required during this period of flight.

Mysore runway heading whether facing magnetic heading 05 degrees or magnetic heading 23 degrees is normally into the wind from either side. (SW monsoon and NE monsoon..get the idea? thats the way the wind blows around here generally)

Unfortunately, the runway as it stands ends at the Nanjangud road and the other end at the railway track. Thats why they have to re-align if they want to extend the length. The re-aligment may cause the Aircraft taking off or landing, in a cross wind situation as opposed to "head wind". This itself is not a bad thing since Aircraft do a lot of cross wind landings everyday at airoprts all over the World. It is not that the wind direction remains the same all the time. Hope this answers your question.

Nikhil Joshi said...

How long is the runway right now (or how long will it be after it is extended)? Is there a possibility of a second smaller parallel runway or even a 09/27? Mysore may not need a second runway to start with, but I can bet it will be required later on. but then to start building a new runway after the airport is in full operation is very inconvenient.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks for your comments Nikhil. The runway now is a dirt strip of a little less than 4,000 feet. Usable runway, I'd say, would be around 3,000 feet only. The new asphalted runway is planned to be 4,500-5,000 feet and perfect for turboprop operations of an ATR 42/72, Dash 8 series and so on. A second runway would be nice but I don't think that is on the cards right now unfortunately. I hear that the budget for the Airport development is only Rs. 50 crores. The cost includes the runway, taxiway, terminal, parking apron, tower and for some navigational facilities. I hope we'd get more investment for a second runway, ILS systems and night landing facilities including lights. The Government does not want to spend all their funds on this Airport alone and they say that Hassan, Shimoga (!) and another one up North Karnataka is being planned.
I have not found the time to look at the layout plan as yet and hope I can put an update on that shortly.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

For the benefit of the readers of my blog, an online news edition of a San Diego (California, USA)has come out with local problems related to runways, their alignment, wind pattern and so on. Mr. Madhukar and the rest may please read that article, although somewhat technical in nature.

The article only highlights some of the problems in runway location and allied information. Although this is not about Mysore Airport, we have discussed in this forum, the subject of runways and winds and I though the linked article would make it additionally interesting to the readers of my blog. Here's the link:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060313-9999-1m13airport.html

Madhukar - VU2MUD said...

Thanks for the link, Capt. Murthy. It certainly gives the aviation interested layman like me a view into the problems related to aviation and its management at airports. I had earlier read that one of the reasons for the Mysore Airport not being developed was due to the railway track running at one end of the present runway. But I remember the Hyderabad runway also being very close to a railway track. Is it really a problem or is it just another reason for delaying the development? How does the Chamundi Hills in the proximity affect any sudden wind direction changes?

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Mr. madhukar, generally non aviation people including politicians talk through their hat so to speak. The railway line one end and the highway is a problem but one that can be sorted out. In any case, they are not planning on a long runway for jet operations. The second "criss crossing runway" may be developed with a re-alignment for future use. The current runway is not being affected by Chamundi hill. The wind currents are closer to the hill. From my experience flying gliders for three years, day in and day out, I can say that I have noticed no sudden or long term shifts in wind patters caused by the hill.

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Well, here's the latest set of bad news update regarding Mysore Airport. Today, Star of Mysore dated 18th March quotes the local Member of Parliament as saying that the work on the Airport is likely to start in two months time. Now, did we not hear this in January? Again in February and now in March it is the same magic "two months" is mentioned. Good luck, Mysore!

Anonymous said...

We honestly feel the proposed airport being constructed by virtually killing the interests of poor farmers,they being paid such a low compenstation? why can't give more when one acre costs not less then 35-40 lakhs in mysore.It is one of the critical factors still to be adrressed neither by govt or by local public representitives,we hope the poor farmer's will be given more compensation.since their lands being forcibly taken over.

Anonymous said...

Sir,i feel the local MP is totaly misleading the people in the issue of a private property(20 acres) owner going to the court.The local MP says he doesn't know the owner but in reality it's the other way around he has close contacts with the same and he is acting to gain both in vote bank and sympathy from public.The local MP's sister owns a property in Nanjangud,whcih in turn developed by the same owner who has gone to court,people say it's say gift from owner to get more compensation from govt with the help of local MP.whom to believe in this artifical world full of and cut thorat polticians

Blog-Capt. Anup Murthy said...

I thank you anonymous, for your comments but would like to have comments with your identity. As for any landholder, I am for proper settlement based on market value and not a fictitious small figure that the Government comes up with. Regarding your allegations against the MP, if true, nothing surprises me anymore. Again, since the inference is being made to an MP who is well known, it is rather unfortunate that no inference is made to your identity.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why this blog does not have any new postings after 2006.
Any updates on the airport, did the work ever start ?

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Anonymous, Airport work has started. Supposed to be completed by end of next year (2008) but more drama is going on with the authorities unable to acquire all of the land required, as the local villagers have put up stiff resistance. I too get info about this from third parties and online news because I live in Singapore and have not gone home in 8 months or so to see first hand whats going on with Mysore Airport.

As for updating the blog, I don't know why you are unable to get my later posts. I blog on an average of more than 2 or 3 topics in a month and have contnuously written through 2006 and 2007 without missing a single month and the latest piece is current as on 10th September 2007 (although that piece has nothing to do with aviation and talks about singapore, it still appears on the same blog site mymysore72.blogspot.com)

I don't check on previous blog articles that I wrote, especially when the articles are more than one and half years old. I do reply to aviation questions posed on my current posts even if the subject of my current posts is not aviation centric.

Thanks for your comment and question though and I hope you will be able to access my latest blog articles.

Mahendra said...

Dear Captain

Every time when we have some development projects in india, the issue of current land owners, farmers and tribals irrupts up, and slows down the process. Everybody who will use the facilities of a new development, like an airport in this case will be benifited by the project. My question is why not the local land-owners or users should be heavily compensated? Let them also be happy for the airport coming up, like all of us going to be happy. What is going to be an impact of happy compensation to them on the overall project cost? What are going to be losses if the the project is delayed? Even a delay going to cost a hell lot. The project cost keep up increasing.

Nimish said...

Can you help post a link to the location of the strip on google maps? I tried to find it, but was not able to find it. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hey guys, i am glad we have individuals who track these developments especially building of new airport in our beloved mysore, which infact should have been on the world map long before (in terms of air connectivity). it would be quite interesting if someone can upload pics of development so far, for the less fortunate like us who left the country in favour of bettering ours lives. I am quite keen on landing in mysore on my next trip HOme.. jai karnataka

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hey Anonymous, I did put in some pictures and an update on the Mysore Airport (few months back) on another blog of mine. You can find it here: http://anupmurthy.blogspot.com/2007/12/mysore-airport-latest-news-and-update.html

Anand said...

Hello Sir,

I am not sure if my piece of land is part of the 20 acres held up in litigation. I had purchased 2 plots of land in Marasee village from a local Real Estate agent named Mr. Ramaswamy back in 2004. I am a NRI working in UAE. I was informed by this agent in 2006 that the airport authorities want this land + the surrounding land for Mysore Airport expansion. He asked us to give him a signed paper to fight against this in the court which I did. Till date, I dont know what the status of this litigation is. I would surely sell the land if I get compensated at the current market prices. Does anyone know about this?

Look forward to your comments

Regards,

Anand

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hello Anand, I don't have any updates about the land acquisition at this time. Better to get this information from someone locally there in Mysore. I have not been back there in a long time. If any of my readers see this and have any information, I'm sure they will respond but it would have been better to post your comment on my latest blog instead of this old one that readers may not re-visit.

Nitin said...

I refer to Mr Anand's comments of Sep 1 on the 20-acres of land under litigation. I too had bought two plots from Mr Ramaswamy in 1998 and have been recently advised by Mr Ramaswamy that AA is only offering a rate which is half the
price I paid, and he has not been able to share any documented communication between himself and the government agency involved with this acquisition. This is probably the reason why no one wants to sell the land. It would help the cause if the offer made by Airport Authority is published in the public domain. I am also curious to understand why Mr Ramaswamy is invloved in this transaction which should be directly between the land owner and the buyer. He has called for a meeting on Sep 14 with the land owners to discuss options. I am certainly inclided to reject any offers or options unless there is full transperency.

Any views and information will be welcome.