Mangalore International Airport (IATA: IXE, ICAO: VOML), formerly Bajpe Airport) is a domestic and international airport serving the coastal city of Mangalore, India. The airport was opened on 25 December 1951 as the Bajpe Aerodrome when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru arrived on the maiden flight on a DC-3 Dakota aircraft.. The airport boasts of being the only international airport in the state that has been established and run by the government. In 2007-08 the airport handled 10,019 aircraft movements as compared to 6,268 the previous year.
The airport is located near Bajpe, around 20 km (12 mi) north-east of the city centre. Several daily flights connect Bajpe with most major cities in southern and western India as well as many major cities in the Middle East. Until 2005, its small 1,600 m (5,249 ft) runway meant that it could only handle Boeing 737-sized aircraft; slightly larger aircraft can now be handled. Kingfisher Airlines operates short-haul flights from Bajpe Airport using ATR 72-500 aircraft.
The operation of international flights started in 2006 with Air-India Express flying to Dubai.
The airport is located on top of a hill, with the runway landing approaches leading up to the extreme edges of the hill sides and thus called a table top runway.. Only two other airports in India have table top runways - Kozhikode and Lengpui. The edges of the hill dropping into the valley from a height of about 90 m (300 ft) to 9 m (30 ft)) within a short distance of just 500 m (1,600 ft) on the east side of the runway and from about 83 m (272 ft) to 25 m (82 ft) on the western side. An additional disadvantage was that the runway was not level, with the height varying from 90 m (300 ft) to 83 m (272 ft) from east to west. Landing on this short runway at this airport was considered difficult.
On 10 January 2006 an Airbus 319 of Kingfisher Airlines was the first aircraft in that class to land on this runway. The number of passengers using Mangalore Airport has gone up by 100% last year (from 260,000 to almost 500,000). With the increase in traffic the airport earned a maiden profit of ₨ 8,300,000 in financial year 2006-07 and have a target of ₨ 6,000,000 for financial year 2007-08.
A new international length 2,450 m (8,038 ft) runway was constructed and commissioned on 10 May 2006. With this, Mangalore Airport has become the first airport in Karnataka to have two runways, and also the first to have a runway which is made of concrete. The airport has acquired land to build a taxiway parallel to the new runway to reduce aircraft on ground time, it will be connecting the runway to the new terminal building under construction.
Union minister of state for civil aviation Praful Patel had announced on 15 May, 2010 that a work order for extending the runway to 9,000 feet (2,740 m) would be issued soon, subsequently after the air crash of Air India Flight 812 the minister reaffirmed on 30 May 2010 that the runway extension will take place and will take into account the spillover area required during an emergency.
New terminal building
The new airport project was taken up to be developed in an area of about 583 acres of land. In the first phase, a 43,000 square metres apron was constructed at a cost of ₨ 18.19 crores and connected to the second runway.. The new terminal building built over 70 acres of land and constructed at a cost of ₨ 150 crores,, with work completing in December 2009. It is centrally air-conditioned, and covers an area of 18,220 square metres. It is equipped with two aerobridges with provision for adding more in the future. It is designed to separately handle domestic and international passengers. The apron can accommodate four A-310 class and an A-321 class aircraft at a time, with provision for three more aircraft to be added at a future stage. Including the old airport, the total capacity of the airport is nine aircraft and two helicopters.
The road to the new terminal reduces the distance between Mangalore and the airport by about 8 km (5.0 mi). The airport had the trial run of the terminal for domestic flights on 16 December 2009, this will be followed by the trial run of an international flight later. On 15 May 2010, the terminal building was inaugurated by Ministry of Civil Aviation (India) Mr Praful Patel, along with Chief Minister of Karnataka Mr. B. S. Yeddyurappa. It was stated to be opened to air traffic on 1 June 2010, but it became operational on 2 August 2010 due to the delays caused by the Air India Express IX 812 accident. From September 1st 2010, The airport will be charging a User Development Fee (UDF) of ₨ 150 per passenger for domestic flights and ₨ 825 for international flights. This proposal has been approved by the Ministry of civil aviation
As of 15 May 15, 2010 26 domestic flights and 52 international flights are operated every week. More are planned, but delayed because of space constraint.
On 3 October 2006, Air-India Express flight IX-802 from Dubai became the first international flight to land at Mangalore . On 15 February 2007, Air-India Express added connections to Abu Dhabi and Muscat , with Doha and Bahrain added as a new destination on 25 March. It has also launched flights to Kuwait and Sharjah on 17 July 2008.
Air cargo facility
There is a proposal to convert the old terminal building into a cargo terminal. It was stated by the Minister for Aviation that this requires the extension of the runway to handle larger aircraft.
Airlines and destinations
Accidents and incidents
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