Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s announcement that a new international airport would be built in Hosur has sparked a discussion on what the move could mean for Bengaluru. Stalin’s announcement comes days after the Karnataka government set the ball rolling for a second airport in Bengaluru with Infrastructure Development Minister MB Patil ordering a pre-feasibility report on it.

Located just 40 km away, Hosur is just across the border and close to Bengaluru’s Electronic City which houses electronic/IT industrial parks. Industrialists believe that the new Hosur airport is an advantage to businesses around east and south Bengaluru as it is closer to them.

“The development of Hosur airport is definitely a welcome move. Business enterprises located in Electronic City, Mahadevapura, and different parts of south and east Bengaluru can easily access this airport than the Kempegowda International Airport located in north Bengaluru. On the other hand, I do not believe that this move will impact Bengaluru’s business landscape. KIA will continue to be in demand for passengers and industrialists and with the government coming up with another airport for the city, the Hosur airport does not prove to be a threat to Karnataka’s business prospects,” Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, Senior Vice-President of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), told The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, the concessional agreement between Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) and the civil aviation ministry mandates that no new or existing airport shall be permitted by the Government of India to be developed as, or improved or upgraded into, an international airport within an aerial distance of 150 km of the airport before the 25th anniversary of the airport. As per this agreement, Kempegowda International Airport’s 25th anniversary is in 2033.

With the current airport projected to reach its peak passenger handling capacity by 2033, both the state government and BIAL have their eyes on the development of a second airport for the city to manage air passenger traffic. While BIAL is progressing towards the development of finishing Phase 2 of Terminal 2 and building Terminal 3, the government is preparing to identify land for the second airport. In fact, BIAL has also expressed interest in bidding for the management of the second airport, should the government float tenders in the coming days.

Festive offer

However, some politicians expressed concerns over the announcement of the Hosur airport. Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya told The Indian Express, “I have emphasized this in the past as well…Karnataka must focus on developing a second airport in Bengaluru near Anekal or Bidadi which will be both geographically and strategically advantageous for the city. Additionally, people from south and east Bengaluru can access the airport instead of traveling to Devanahalli. If the neighboring state has announced the development of a new airport, Karnataka must not be caught napping. Instead, we should speed up the work now for the second airport.” He added, “Bengaluru has already lost a fair share of the deal in terms of manufacturing units to Tamil Nadu. I think the government should proactively step up efforts to start the new airport for Bengaluru.”

“The Hosur international airport can be useful for its surrounding areas only when there is good connectivity to the airport. However, with regards to business investments, I believe there will be stiff competition in the region,” Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT-BT, told The Indian Express.

Satya Arikutharam, an independent mobility expert said, “The development of Hosur airport will definitely encourage existing and upcoming business enterprises to move closer to the airport. However, I believe an international airport can become robust only with the right connectivity, plus a good segmentation of international airlines.”

Meanwhile, BIAL declined to comment on the proposed Hosur international airport.