Mangalore Airport (India)

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Mangalore international Airport
Mangalore Airport New Terminal.jpg
Mangalore Airport Terminal
IATA: IXEICAO: VOML
IXE is located in India airports
IXE
IXE
Location of airport in India
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Airports Authority of India
Location Mangalore, India
Elevation AMSL 337 ft / 103 m
Coordinates 12°57′41″N 074°53′24″E / 12.96139°N 74.89000°E / 12.96139; 74.89000
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 5,300 1,615 Asphalt
06/24 8,038 2,450 Concrete
Statistics (Apr '13 – Mar '14)
Passenger movements 1,283,667
Aircraft movements 12,776
Cargo tonnage 367
Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Mangalore Airport,[4][5] (IATA: IXEICAO: VOML) formerly known as Bajpe Airport, is an international airport[6] serving the coastal city of Mangalore, India. Several daily flights connect Mangalore with most major cities in southern and western India as well as many major cities in the Middle East. The airport was opened on 25 December 1951[7] as the Bajpe Aerodrome when then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru arrived on the maiden flight on a DC-3 Dakota aircraft.[7][8] It was the first in the state of Karnataka to have two runways, one of which was fully concrete. Mangalore Airport is capable of handling aircraft up to A310 size in all weather conditions. Night operations are permitted.[9]

Mangalore Airport has one of highest YoY passenger growth rate in India, with previous financial year clocking 54 percent growth in international passenger traffic.[10]

Overview[edit]

The airport is near Bajpe, around 20 km (12 mi) northeast of the city centre. It is on top of a hill, with two tabletop runways 9/27 and 6/24. Only two other airports in India have table top runways – Kozhikode and Lengpui.[11] The terminal was very small and had basic facilities; it was renovated in the early 2000s. New seats were added, parking controls were introduced and additional cafes were opened. The airport was always used for limited domestic flights – mainly Mumbai and Bangalore – until 2006, when it began international flights to nearby UAE and Oman.

The operation of international flights started in 2006 with Air India Express flying to Dubai. Mangalore Airport was a customs airport[12] for six years from 3 October 2006 to 3 October 2012, before it was granted the status of International Airport.[13]

As of October 2012, it has facilities for handling 400 passengers in the domestic arrival hall and 150 international passengers in the international hall.[14]

On 28 September 2012 an Airbus A310, a first of aircraft in that class, landed for the first time at Mangalore. It was a charter flight for the Hajj pilgrims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.[15] On 10 January 2006 an Airbus A319 of Kingfisher Airlines was the first aircraft in that class to land on the new runway.[16] Until 2005, its small 1,600 m (5,249 ft) runway meant that it could only handle Boeing 737-400 size aircraft. The longer runway now handles slightly larger aircraft.

Airport has seen double digit growth in passenger traffic after introducing international flights. According to the latest figures available in the public domain, airport had a growth of 21.51 per cent in passenger handling during 2013–14, with 54 per cent growth in international traffic. It has handled 1255,000 passengers in 2013–14 against 1032,000 in 2012–13.[10]

Growth of passenger traffic at the Mangalore Airport can be gauged by the fact that it handled 929,000 passengers from July 2011 to June 2012 although it was projected to handle 900,000 passengers in 2025.[17][18]

In 2007–08 the airport handled 10,019 aircraft movements as compared to 6,268 the previous year.[19] In 2011–12 it had a revenue of INR 42.64 crores and an operating profit of INR 87.6 million,[20] up from INR 8.3 million in 2006–07.[21] In 2012–13 the airport handled a landmark 1.02 million passengers with 11,940 aircraft movements.[20] The revenue for the same period was Rs 506.6 million, and it recorded an operating profit of Rs 164.9 million during 2012–13.[20] In 2013–14 it handled a 1.25 million passengers with revenues of Rs 638.9 million.[22]

Layout and infrastructure[edit]

Runway[edit]

The first runway 9/27 of length 1,615 m (5,299 ft) was built opened in 1951. Its landing approaches lead up to the extreme edges of the hillsides and was thus called a tabletop runway.[23][24] The edges of the hill dropping into the valley from a height of about 90 m (300 ft) to 9 m (30 ft)) within a short distance of just 500 m (1,600 ft) on the east of the runway and from about 83 m (272 ft) to 25 m (82 ft) on the western side.[23] An additional disadvantage was that the runway was not level, with the height varying from 90 m (300 ft) to 83 m (272 ft) from east to west. Landing on this short runway was considered difficult.[23]

The second runway 6/24 of length 2,450 m (8,038 ft) was opened on 10 May 2006. A Jet Airways flight from Bangalore with 95 passengers on board became the first to land on this runway.[25] With this, Mangalore Airport has become the first airport in Karnataka to have two runways[26] and the first to have a runway made of concrete.[27] The airport has acquired land to build a taxiway parallel to the new runway to reduce aircraft on ground time.[19]

Union minister of state for civil aviation Praful Patel announced on 15 May 2010 that a work order for extending the runway to 9,000 feet (2,740 m) would be issued soon.[28] After the air crash of Air India Flight 812 the minister reaffirmed on 30 May 2010 that the runway extension will take place and will take into account the spillover area required during an emergency.[29]

On 11 July 2011 at the meeting of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, it was informed that the Karnataka government will be issuing preliminary notification for the acquisition of land for the extension of runway. The process of land survey for runway expansion has been started, and the preliminary notification for acquisition would be issued in a week. Around 156 acres will be required for runway expansion, and an amount of INR 150 million has been set aside in the state budget for Mangalore airport work.[30]

Provision of runway end safety area, ensuring proper markings on the runway and proper maintenance of the basic strip were implemented in after the directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) identified this as one of the 11 airports in India as unsafe.[31][32]

Passenger terminal[edit]

The new airport project was taken up to be developed in an area of about 2.36 square kilometres (580 acres) of land. In the first phase a 43,000 m2 (460,000 sq ft) apron was constructed at a cost of INR182 million (US$3.0 million) and connected to the second runway.[33] The new terminal building built over 280,000 square metres (69 acres) of land and constructed at a cost of INR1.5 billion (US$25 million),[34][35] with work completing in December 2009.[35] It is centrally air-conditioned, and covers an area of 18,220 square metres (196,100 sq ft). It is equipped with two aerobridges with provision for adding more in the future. It is designed to separately handle domestic and international passengers. The apron can accommodate four A310 class and an A321 class aircraft at a time, with provision for three more aircraft to be added at a future stage. Including the old airport, the total capacity is nine aircraft and two helicopters.[36]

The road to the new terminal reduces the distance between Mangalore and the airport by about 8 km (5.0 mi).[34] The airport had the trial run of the terminal for domestic flights on 16 December 2009.[37] On 15 May 2010, the terminal building was inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel,[38] along with former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B. S. Yeddyurappa. It was to be opened to air traffic on 1 July 2010, but it became operational on 2 August 2010 due to the delays caused by the Air India Express Flight 812 accident.[39][40]

Since 1 September 2010, the airport is charging a user development fee (UDF) of INR150 (US$2.50) per passenger for domestic flights and INR825 (US$14) for international flights. This proposal has been approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry.[41]

As of 15 May 2010, 26 domestic flights and 52 international flights were operated every week.[42]

Air traffic control[edit]

Construction of a new air traffic control (ATC) complex is expected to be over by June 2013 to handle the increasing traffic at the airport.[43]

On 5 September 2013 the Airports Authority of India commissioned a DGCA approved advanced automated air traffic management system replacing the older system.[44] The system enhances flight safety by providing the air traffic controllers with information of air movements from radar, flight plans, direction finders and air-ground-data link messages.[44] This system processes radar feeds from Bangalore, Chennai, and Thiruvananthapuram to display them at Mangalore.[44]

Old terminal[edit]

Old terminal building

Since 2011 the old terminal has been used for direct flights to Madinah, Saudi Arabia, for pilgrims undertaking the Hajj.[45] In 2011 and 2012 chartered flights landed at Mangalore Airport and carried passengers from the old terminal building.[15]

Air cargo complex[edit]

The air cargo complex has been notified by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The infrastructure for the air cargo complex is ready at old terminal. AAI has applied for the custodianship of cargo.[46][47][48] It would have a facility to store up to 10 tonnes of cargo. In addition, a cold storage would have a capacity to store up to three tonnes. Provision would be made to store sensitive and hazardous goods.[43]

On 18 March 2013 the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh inaugurating air cargo complex and the common user terminal equipment (CUTE) system at Mangalore Airport.[49]

Coast guard air base[edit]

2,000 square metres in the old airport at Bajpe will be used by the Indian Coast Guard for its helicopters. In addition to the land which will be given on lease by Airport Authority of India (AAI), the Coast Guard had sought 15 acres from the state government near the old airport to set up its base. It was yet to be given possession of the land. The parking of its helicopters at the airport will help strengthen rescue operations and coastal security.[43]

Future expansion[edit]

  • The foundations stone for the new air traffic control tower cum technical block was laid on 22 April 2012.[50] it will house air traffic control, control tower, radar unit and communication unit. The three floors plus basement structure has come up behind the fire station allowing a clear view of the entire airport,[51] and should be ready for use in March or April 2014.[52] A primary radar will be installed to enable better handling of aircraft.[53][54]
  • Addition of two more aerobridges to the terminal building,[52] and two more parking bays to the apron extending the parking bays to eight.[52]
  • Parallel Taxiway to reduce runway occupancy time and provide more safety.[55] Currently the apron is connected to the edge of runway 06, and aircraft movements on the apron have to stopped when a plane lands and till it reaches the apron.[56] The new 1,100-metre[52] taxiway will be parallel to the runway and join the runway ahead of the landing threshold,[56] enabling aircraft on the apron to move towards the runway and hold saving time of 10 to 15 minutes.[56]
  • Work on the two lane exit road from the airport started 19 February 2013.[57] Until completion of this road the entry road is kept open for two way traffic.[58] Until the work is completed the entry road will allow two-way traffic.
  • Upgrade the airport emergency service to Category 8.[59]
  • Improved runway markings and elevation of the runway-end safety area.[60]
  • The current length of the runway is 2,450 m (8,040 ft). The extension of runway length by 300 m (980 ft) will enable the airport to handle bigger aircraft.[61] AAI has not implemented the recommendation of the 812 crash inquiry committee which had recommended the lengthening of the runway. AAI is not ready to invest in the runway expansion; it wants the state government to invest in it, though wide-bodied A310 and new airlines are allowed to operate by the regulatory authorities. User development fees are being charged by the AAI, but it has not started work on the runway lengthening.[62][63]
  • Expansion of the Passenger Terminal to accommodate more passengers. The estimates made by AAI for year 2025 while constructing a new passenger terminal have been crossed in the year 2012 itself. It is expected that the terminal will not be able to accommodate the increasing traffic in the coming years.[64] The expansion will also see the addition of two aerobridges to the existing two.[53][54]
  • Commencement of wide-body aircraft flights from the airport, under public-private partnership model depending on allotment of 1 km2 (247.1 acres) of land from the government.[65] If larger aircraft were to operate from Mangalore, the main runway would have to be extended by 1,000 m (3,281 ft) and widened to 300 m (984.3 ft). This extension work might cost INR12 billion (US$200 million). As per the opinion of Mr Vasudeva, former airport manager, considering the cost involved in extending the runway, a new airport could be constructed rather than upgrading the existing one.[66] The airport could now handle medium range aircraft such as Airbus 310.[66]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air India Mumbai
Air India Express Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Kozhikode, Muscat
Air India Regional Bengaluru,
Air India Express Hajj:Medina
Jet Airways Dubai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai
JetKonnect Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai
SpiceJet Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai

Connectivity[edit]

Mangalore central railway station and Mangalore airport are connected by the bus services of the KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) city bus service.[67][68] The buses have a seating capacity of 41 passengers with provision for 20 passengers to commute standing.[68]

Taxis ply between airport and city of Mangalore. Prepaid taxi service available round-the-clock at the airport counter in the arrival hall.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Mangalore Airport is in a region that receives the highest rainfall in India.[69] Minor incidents have been reported during flight landing in the rainy season, especially overshooting of the runway.[70] This airport was witness to the third deadliest aviation disaster in India. This incident turned out to be a boon in disguise as major safety measures were implemented to improve the safety at the airport. Some of them are, 'distance-to-go markers' on the runway, the safety zone – the additional space between the runway and the cliff meant to act as outside force to bring aircraft to halt in emergencies – has been improved with addition of gravel and the strengthening of the retaining wall.[65][71]

The major incidents have been listed below.

  • On 19 August 1981, Indian Airlines Flight 557, a HAL 748 VT-DXF overshot the 5,783 feet (1,763 m) old runway 27 at Mangalore-Bajpe Airport in wet weather.[72] The aircraft came to a halt just beyond the runway edge. While there were no fatalities, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and was written off. One of the passengers was Veerappa Moily, then Finance Minister of Karnataka.[73] An investigation revealed that the pilot had not set the aircraft's flaps to the correct position for landing, and the aircraft had landed long on the runway and at excessive speed. The runway had a downslope and the aircraft had landed with a tailwind. The aircraft involved was HAL 748 VT-DXF, with manufacturer's serial number 511;[72] it first flew in 1967.
  • On 22 May 2010, Air India Express Flight 812, a Boeing 737-800 VT-AXV, flying on the Dubai-Mangalore route, overshot the 8,033 feet (2,448 m) runway number 06/24, killing 158 people including 6 crew on-board; only 8 survived. The aircraft landed and subsequently crashed when it overshot the runway and veered into a steep gorge at the end.[74] The starboard wing impacted the concrete socket of the instrument landing system localiser antenna, breaking it and rendering it unusable.[75] This resulted in delayed or cancelled flights during two weeks when the monsoon rains reduced visibility.[75] It took the airport a little under a month to repair and calibrate the ILS and bring it back online.[76]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ TRAFFIC STATISTICS – INTERNATIONAL AIRCRAFT MOVEMENTS Airports Authority of India. Retrieved 28 September 2012
  3. ^ TRAFFIC STATISTICS – INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT Airports Authority of India. Retrieved 28 September 2012
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  67. ^ Mangalore: Seven KSRTC Buses Start Functioning in City Daijiworld.com
  68. ^ a b KSRTC launches seven new city services in Mangalore Times of India
  69. ^ "Annual Rainfall Map of India, Rainfall in India". Mapsofindia.com. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  70. ^ Stanley Pinto, TNN 15 August 2012, 04.39PM IST (15 August 2012). "Air India flight makes hard landing in Mangalore, causes scare". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
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  72. ^ a b "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 
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External links[edit]