Now that the city has an airport with no flights, Mysore is faced with the problem of generating passenger and cargo traffic that would make it worthwhile for airlines to come in here. A recent seminar on the issue came up with the idea that Mysore-based IT corporates and other business establishments should hold out a promise of minumum seats occupancy to lure the airlines.
The idea doesn’t seem all that bright or workable because no airline can be expected make its business decisions on the minimum seats guaranteed by a few corporates. Anyway, no such assurance can be binding on individual companies. Besides, airlines are reported to be looking for a state subsidy by way of a cut in fuel tax (27 perecent in Karnataka).
Air-traffic projection by Infosys has it that 800 of its employees would use air services every week to Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. To be meaningful such projection ought to be able to give a break-down, city-wise, and also in terms of seat-occupancy on weekdays, and weekends.
It doesn’t require much study to say that much of the corporate employees traffic out of Mysore is on weekends. Check the Chennai Shadabthi bookings from Mysore on Friday/Saturday. Viewed in this perspective, Mysore could at best function a weekend airport, to start with.
Among other wild ideas that spring to mind:
1) Make Mysore a cargo hub for carrying vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other perishables from distrcts and nearby Nilgiris to major market centre. This would need deep-freeze storage facility.
2) Airlines operating from Mysore would do well to look at traffic to tier-2 destinations such as Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Bellary, Mangalore, Tirupathi, Cochin.
3) The Airports Authority of India could consider developing a shopping complex for air passengers and also local residents, in view of the relative proximity of the airport to the city limits.
4) Doubling the railway track could attract air traffic from towns on railway route.
5) Early completion of the Mysore-Bangalore expressway would make Mysore a credible alternative for air passengers in Bididi, Kengari and other Bangalore suburbs on the Mysore-end.