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The historical Connection of Belagavi with Tata’s “Air India”

The Tata’s have gained what they had lost 68 years back “Airline Air India” which in 1953 was acquired under nationalisation policy of Nehru’s regime, and it had remained a white elephant and more misused as personal property of ruling parties ever since. As of today, the current disinvestment policy of the pr government got rid and gave back to Tata’s in a winning bid, the Airline they owned once, and further curbing the wastage of taxpayer’s money.

This brief stint of history about of Air India doesn’t end here, Sir JRD Tata had dream of building this Airline for India, and although the first official flight was between Karachi and Mumbai in the year 1932, A series of trials took over in India before its launch, so in the year 1930.itself the first trial runs of landings and take off with route charting started and here the name of Belagavi doesn’t miss being the part of the same history, where during this very first trial flight from Bangalore to Mumbai Tata Airline’s plane landed in Belagavi on 2 March 1930.

Since those where not the days of satellite navigation and Morden runways, besides you will be surprised to know even there was no Airport or runway in Belagavi at that time, the plane landed on racecourse grounds of Belagavi, and it had only an European and a Parsi Gentleman as its occupants.

This is recorded in the Archive which is preserved in Kumthekar Museum of Miraj till today. This was secret document which had informed then the Malatdar (Gazetted officer) of Angol Taluka (The present suburb of South Belagavi city) and to local police. A secret document called “Gopaniya Ahvalat” in Marathi, and it conveys “A week back an Aircraft from Tata construction company from Bangalore flew over Angol and landed at Racecourse ground, its occupants stayed overnight and flew to Mumbai next day”, this Parsi Gentleman was none other than Hon. Sir J R D Tata.

As per the history of Belagavi Airport which was built in 1942 by Royal Air Force and land was given by Patwardhan Sarkar of Sangli, and in fact this was the first airport in entire North Karnataka region.

Belagavi witnessed again Air India Airbus-319 arrival on 11th July 2018 from Bangalore, when people of Belagavi have to fight back for UDAN-2 driven political interference, which diverted all five active flights of SpiceJet to Hubli Airport, which then claimed to be third busiest Airport with no competition in Northern Karnataka, and this claim did not remain for long, as an historical Airport and people of Belagavi never gave up to budge down on biased and discriminative state government policy.

As we Belaumites are known to fight back, we got the inclusion of Belagavi in UDAN-3 at Centre, that Airport which was to face closure and to start with one flight of Airbus-319 of Air India again, later today is the third busiest airport in Karnataka after Mangalore and Bangalore, in both number of Passengers and as well as flight movements, with also an operational hub of Star Air.

And more to achieve historically Belagavi airports played winning role in the war of Goa liberation also, and again so did witness the creating of another history by having the first Airline pilot training school in region by Carver Aviation which later moved to Baramati, whereas the winning streak doesn’t end here for this Airport and its people, as Belagavi Airport won the bids for two FTS (Flying Training school) establishment soon to be based here.

So, from the history of Tata’s Air India to current day hub of Star Air and upcoming flying schools, the skies of Belagavi always attracted more airlines and aircrafts, and on ending note would just like to say, “these skies are going to remain busier and more busier”.

Written by : Satish Kumar | Info : Tarun Bharat

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