New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to look into the prospects of allowing two airports to operate in Bangalore,in order to meet the needs of the city efficiently. It, however, refused to direct the government to shut down the HAL airport after operationalisation of the new Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) at Devanahalli.
A bench, comprising chief justice KG Balakrishnan and justice MK Sharma asked the government to look into the plea of the petitioners. The petitioner, Bangalore City Connect Foundation, an organisation of the citizens of the city, had approached the apex court against a Karnataka High Court order, which refused to direct the authorities not to close the HAL airport or levy a User Development Fee on passengers using the new BIAL-run airport.
The Karanataka HC has posted the matter for further hearing in June. Currently, Bial has proposed a UDF of Rs240-plus taxes and Rs520-plus taxes on domestic and international passengers, respectively. BIAL is waiting to commence commercial operations from the end of this month.
Additional solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, on behalf of the Centre, assured the court that the government is scheduled to meet on 12 May and the plea would be looked into.