ಬಳ್ಳಾರಿ ವಿಮಾನ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣ
Baḷḷāri Vimāna Nildāṇa
|IATA: BEP – ICAO: VOBI|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Location||Bellary, Karnataka, India|
|Elevation AMSL||30 ft / 9 m|
Bellary Airport (IATA: BEP, ICAO: VOBI) is an airport serving Bellary, a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It was once served by Tata Airlines and Vayudoot. However, as of October 2016, the airport is without commercial air service. Because of difficulties in extending the runway, Jindal Vijaynagar Airport in Toranagallu was used instead between 2006 and 2009. A new airport for Bellary is being planned as well.
Bellary Airport existed as early as 1932, when it figured in an airmail service operated by Tata Airlines (now Air India). The service operated Karachi–Ahmedabad–Mumbai–Bellary–Chennai. The British selected Bellary as a stopover point because of its strategic location and the presence of many troops in the city. Afterward, regional carrier Vayudoot operated flights to Bellary.
In 2004, the Government of Karnataka decided to permit commercial flights from an airstrip owned by Jindal Vijaynagar Steel Ltd (JVSL) in Toranagallu, 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Bellary. The airstrip would serve Bellary as well as nearby Hampi and Hospet. This decision resulted in protest from some citizens, who felt the airstrip would only benefit JVSL workers and who wanted Bellary Airport to be upgraded instead. The State Government responded by saying there was no space to extend and widen the runway to make it capable of receiving larger aircraft. Between December 2006 and 2009, the JVSL airstrip received flights from Bangalore and Goa by Air Deccan and later Kingfisher Red. There are now plans to build a new airport for Bellary.
In January 2006, the Airports Authority of India announced it would establish a radar station for air traffic control at Bellary Airport. Construction was carried out by the company Indra Sistemas and was completed by September 2011.
- See Runway#Naming for the naming convention for runways.
- Airport information for VOBI at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- Kaggere, Niranjan (3 March 2015). "Mining through Bellary's aviation history". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Bangalore-Bellary flights postponed". The Hindu. 28 September 2004. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Kamila, Raviprasad (18 January 2006). "AAI to set up radar station in Bellary". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Indra finishes implementation of the first four RADAR stations in India" (Press release). Madrid: Indra Sistemas. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2016.