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BENGALURU: Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday laid the foundation to start the construction of Shivamogga airport, about 300 km from the state's capital, Bengaluru.

The 220-crore project is part of Karnataka’s efforts to leverage air connectivity in the state to get investors and industries look beyond Bengaluru and rectify regional imbalance.

The chief minister said the airport, to be constructed in two phases, will be completed in about a year.

“This airport will cater to all neighbouring districts and will aid tourism and economic activity in the region," Yediyurappa said.

The site for the proposed airport, Sogane village, which is situated about 12 kms from Shivamogga city, will be built on an area of 662.38 acres, the state government said in a statement.

Yediyurappa said he has been trying to kickstart the airport project in his home district for over a decade but could not do so.

The airport is expected to help generate employment as well as drive industrial activity and revive the state’s fledgling economy amid the covid-19 health crisis.

The state government said the airport is designed to operate ATR-72-600 with a seating capacity of 70 passengers and can handle about 200 peak hour passengers. The state said it has enough land available for future expansion of the airport to operate higher types of aircraft like Boeing B-737/Airbus A-320 based on the demand (3,000 m of runway).

The construction of the proposed Shivamogga airport starts about seven months after air operations began in Kalaburagi and Bidar, some of the most backward regions in the state.


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