Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan may be able to take a regular flight to Karad in the not-so-distant future, with the government all set to convert the present airstrip there into a proper 2B runway to handle midsize aircraft.
At present, the airstrip can only handle small charter aircraft which must operate in the daytime.
Sources said the government official said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had submitted its technical feasibility report to the Maharashtra Airports Development Company for examination which in turn handed it over to the government for a final nod.
There is little doubt that the cabinet will approve the airport and provide the necessary funds for it, but the move will require the acquisition of adjoining land that may pose a tricky issue.
Early last month, some farmers from Karad had met the CM and objected to the plans for the airstrip’s expansion, saying it would mean the taking over 400 hectares of irrigated farmland.