Aircraft parking requests flood HAL

Aircraft parking requests flood HAL
By Rasheed Kappan, DH News Service, Bangalore:

Bangalore’s HAL Airport will allot parking spaces for at least 40 to 50 business jets within a year.

But amidst a sudden flood of parking requests from corporates across the country, Airport officials are worried about giving a firm long-term commitment. Reason: Unscheduled landings and take-offs of such flights might interfere with regular operations, and pose problems if the airport is later retained for commercial flights.

Highly placed sources told Deccan Herald that several corporates including the Reliance Group, Indus Aviation, the TVS Group, and the UB Group had sought HAL Airport’s permission to park their business jets. Since parking is a huge revenue earner for the airport, HAL has reportedly agreed to sanction conditional permission to the companies, it is learnt.

Rs 918 parking charges
For instance, the airport levies Rs 918 per day as parking charge for an ATR-42 aircraft. The daily parking charge is about Rs 3,200 for an Airbus 320 and between Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,400 for a Boeing 737. Parking is free for the first two hours, says a top airport official.

HAL airport is likely to feel the revenue pinch once it is closed after the scheduled launch of the Devanahalli-based Bengaluru International Airport on May 11. Set to lose about Rs 250 crore annually, the parking fee revenues might be small compensation. Yet, the Airport would prefer to keep it, provided it does not run into trouble later if the facility is retained for
commercial operations. While the Reliance Group is keen to park its jet at the airport, Indus Aviation has proposed to use the parking space for two to three of its training facility aircraft.

Aviator India is another firm that has approached the airport to place its two aircraft. Private aviation firm CBAS also wants to park its Hawker 900 XP aircraft at the HAL airport, sources told this newspaper. The UB Group has plans to put at least two helicopters at the parking facility.

Requests to go up
With several business houses poised to acquire private aircraft in the near future, the airport officials expect the number of parking requests to go up shortly.

But the airport is unlikely to allot more than 50 parking slots, sources said.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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