Shivamogga: "Those wearing 'hawai chappals' should travel in 'hawai jahaz' (aircraft). I'm seeing it happening", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he highlighted that India's aviation market is growing rapidly.
Speaking at a public meeting after inaugurating the Shivamogga airport, he said in the coming days India will need thousands of aircraft, and the days of Made-in-India passenger aircraft are not far.
Modi also took a dig at the Congress, saying before 2014 Air India was often discussed for negative reasons, and the company was recognised for scams during that party's rule.
The inauguration of the airport coincided with the 80th birthday of Karnataka BJP strongman and four-time Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who hails from Shivamogga district. Modi asked people to switch on their mobile flash lights to commemorate Yediyurappa's birthday.
Karnataka has made up its mind to repeatedly give opportunity to "double engine" government, he said.
This is Modi's fifth visit this year to the State, where Assembly elections are due by May.
The new airport has been developed at a cost of around Rs 450 crore. The passenger terminal building of the airport can handle 300 passengers per hour.
The airport is expected to improve connectivity and accessibility from Shivamogga and other neighbouring areas in the Malnad region of Karnataka, officials said In all, the Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth more than Rs 3,600 crore here.
Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Yediyurappa were among those present on the occasion.