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Kempegowda International Airport

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Kempegowda International Airport
ಕೆಂಪೇಗೌಡ ಅಂತರರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ವಿಮಾನ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣ
Kempegowda-international-airport - logo.png
Bengaluru-airport.jpg
IATA: BLRICAO: VOBL
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL)
Serves Bangalore
Location Devanahalli, Karnataka, India
Opened 24 May 2008
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 915 m / 3,002 ft
Coordinates 13°12′25″N 077°42′15″E / 13.20694°N 77.70417°E / 13.20694; 77.70417Coordinates: 13°12′25″N 077°42′15″E / 13.20694°N 77.70417°E / 13.20694; 77.70417
Website www.bengaluruairport.com
Map
BLR is located in Karnataka
BLR
BLR
BLR is located in India
BLR
BLR
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 4,000 13,123 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 18,111,096
Aircraft movements 146,734
Cargo tonnage 287,146[1]

Kempegowda International Airport (IATA: BLRICAO: VOBL) is an international airport serving Bangalore, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Spread over 4,000 acres (1,600 ha), it is located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the city near the village of Devanahalli. It is owned and operated by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), a public–private consortium. The airport opened in May 2008 as an alternative to increased congestion at HAL Airport, the original primary commercial airport serving the city. It is named after Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore.

As of 2015, Kempegowda Airport is the third busiest airport by passenger traffic in the country, behind the airports in Delhi and Mumbai. It handled roughly 18 million passengers in 2015 with 400 aircraft movements per day. The airport also handled about 287,000 tonnes (316,000 short tons) of cargo.

The airport consists of a single runway and passenger terminal, which handles both domestic and international operations. A second runway and terminal are in the early stages of planning and construction. In addition, there is a cargo village and three cargo terminals. The airport serves as a hub for AirAsia India, Air India Regional, Air Pegasus and Jet Airways. It is also a focus city for IndiGo.

The terminal building nearing completion in March 2008
Phase 1 expansion underway in June 2012
Check-in counters in the departure hall
Plaza Premium Lounge, domestic side

History[edit]

Planning (1991–2004)[edit]

The original airport serving Bangalore was HAL Airport, located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city centre. However, as Bangalore grew into the Silicon Valley of India and passenger traffic to the city rose, the airport was unable to cope.[2] There was no room for expansion and the apron could only park six aircraft.[3] In March 1991, former chairman of the National Airports Authority of India (NAAI) S. Ramanathan convened a panel to select the site for a new airport. The panel decided on Devanahalli, a village about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Bangalore.[4][5] The State Government made a proposal to build the airport with private assistance, which the Union Government approved in 1994.[6]

In December 1995, a consortium consisting of Tata Group, Raytheon and Singapore Changi Airport signed a memorandum of understanding with the State Government regarding participation in the project. In June 1998, however, the consortium announced it was pulling out of the project due to delays in government approval. These included disputes over the location of the airport and the fate of HAL Airport.[4][7]

In May 1999, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) of the State Government signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the nature of the project. It would be a public–private partnership, with AAI and KSIIDC having a 26% share and private companies having the remaining 74%.[6] In January 2001, the State Government created the company Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) as a special purpose entity and began searching for partners.[8] By November, the project had attracted Unique Zürich Airport, Siemens Project Ventures and Larsen & Toubro.[9] Construction was expected to begin in October 2002;[10] however, governmental delays persisted.[11][12] The concession agreement between the State Government, the Union Government and BIAL was signed in July 2004.[13] In it, BIAL required the closure of HAL Airport.[14]

Construction and opening (2005–08)[edit]

Construction finally commenced on 2 July 2005.[15] When a study predicted the airport would receive 6.7 million passengers in 2008, the airport was redesigned from its initial capacity of 4.5 million passengers to 11 million,[16] with the terminal size expanded and the number of aircraft stands increased. The cost of the airport rose to 1,930 crore (US$290 million).[17] Construction was completed in 32 months, and BIAL set the launch date for 30 March 2008.[18] However, due to delays in establishing air traffic control services at the airport, the launch date was pushed to 11 May[19] and finally 24 May 2008.[20]

As the opening date for the airport approached, public criticism arose, mainly directed toward the closure of HAL Airport. In March 2008, AAI employees conducted a massive strike against the closure of HAL Airport along with Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, fearing they would lose their jobs.[21] The Bangalore City Connect Foundation, a group of citizens and businessmen, staged a rally in mid-May, claiming the new airport was too small for the latest demand projections.[22][23] On 23 May, a hearing was held at the Karnataka High Court over poor connectivity between the city and the airport. Ultimately, the State Government decided to go ahead with inaugurating the new airport and closing HAL Airport.[24]

The first flight to the airport, Air India Flight 609 from Mumbai, was allowed to land the previous night as it would be continuing to Singapore shortly after midnight. The aircraft touched down at 10:40 pm on 23 May.[25] The airport became the third greenfield airport under a public–private partnership to open in India, after Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad and Cochin International Airport.[26]

Renaming and expansion (2009–present)[edit]

The original name of the airport was Bengaluru International Airport.[27] In February 2009, the State Government sent a proposal to the Union Government to rename the airport after the founder of Bangalore, Kempe Gowda I.[28] When no action was taken, the State Government passed a resolution for the name change in December 2011.[29] The Union Government accepted the proposal in 2012[30] and formally approved it in July 2013.[29] The airport was officially renamed on 14 December 2013 amid the inauguration of the expanded terminal building.[31]

Kingfisher Airlines once operated a hub and was one of the largest airlines at Kempegowda Airport. Following its collapse in October 2012, other airlines stepped in to fill the gap in domestic connectivity by adding more flights.[32] In addition, Air Pegasus and AirAsia India launched hub operations at the airport in 2014.[33][34]

The first phase of expansion was launched in June 2011 and finished in December 2013.[35][36] The 1,500 crore (US$220 million) project doubled the size of the passenger terminal to 150,556 square metres (1,620,570 sq ft), involving the construction of additional facilities for check-in, immigration, security and baggage reclaim.[36][37] One domestic gate and three international gates were added as well. A large, sweeping roof connects the original building with the expanded areas.[38] The expanded terminal, dubbed "Terminal 1A", has raised the annual passenger capacity of the airport to 20 million.[39]

Ownership[edit]

The airport is owned and operated by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), a public limited company. The Government of India has granted BIAL the right to operate the airport for 30 years, with the option to continue for another 30 years. The company is a public–private venture. 26% is held by government entities Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (13%) and Airports Authority of India (13%), and 74% is held by private companies Fairfax Financial (38%), Siemens Project Ventures (26%) and GVK Group (10%).[40]

Airfield[edit]

Kempegowda Airport has one runway:

Four years after it was laid, the runway was entirely resurfaced because of a serious decline in quality.[43] From 11 March to 3 April 2012, it was closed daily between 10:30 am and 5:30 pm.[44] As a result, BIAL accused construction company Larsen & Toubro of building the runway poorly.[45] South of runway 09/27 are a full-length parallel taxiway and the apron, which extends from the Blue Dart/DHL terminal to the passenger terminal.

Terminal[edit]

The passenger terminal accommodates both domestic and international operations. It covers 150,556 square metres (1,620,570 sq ft) and can handle 20 million passengers annually.[37][39] Check-in and baggage reclaim are situated on the lower floor, while all departure gates are located on the upper floor. There is a total of twelve gates: six domestic gates (gates 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 15) and six international gates (16, 17, 18, 21-22, 23-24, 25-26).[46] Gate 25-26 is equipped to serve the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.[47] Lounges are provided by Above Ground Level and Plaza Premium Lounge, which also operates a day hotel in the terminal.[48] For VIPs there is a separate 930-square-metre (10,000 sq ft) lounge.[38][49]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 taxiing on the apron
British Airways Boeing 777-200ER taxiing for departure
Emirates Boeing 777-300ER arriving from Dubai–International

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Arabia Sharjah
Air Costa Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air India Chennai, Delhi, Dubai–International, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Malé, Mumbai, Muscat, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram
Air India Regional Agatti, Hubli, Kochi
Air Mauritius Mauritius
Air Pegasus Chennai, Hubli, Kochi, Madurai, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram (all suspended)
AirAsia Kuala Lumpur–International
AirAsia India Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad (begins 22 September 2016),[50] Goa, Guwahati (begins 22 September 2016),[50] Jaipur, Kochi, Pune, Visakhapatnam
British Airways London–Heathrow
Dragonair Hong Kong
Emirates Dubai–International
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi
GoAir Chennai (begins 1 November 2016), Delhi, Goa, Lucknow (resumes 1 October 2016), Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair (resumes 1 October 2016), Pune, Ranchi, Visakhapatnam (begins 1 November 2016)
IndiGo Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Dubai–International, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Thiruvananthapuram, Vadodara, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam
Jet Airways Abu Dhabi, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Madurai, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Kochi, Kolkata, Mangalore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Rajkot, Thiruvananthapuram
Kuwait Airways Kuwait
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Nepal Airlines Kathmandu
Oman Air Muscat
Qatar Airways Doha
Saudia Dammam (ends 30 October 2016),[51] Jeddah, Riyadh
SilkAir Singapore
Singapore Airlines Singapore
SpiceJet Amritsar, Belgaum, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Srinagar, Varanasi, Vijayawada
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Airways International Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi
Tigerair Singapore
TruJet Hyderabad
Vistara Delhi, Mumbai

Cargo[edit]

The following cargo airlines fly to the airport:

Statistics[edit]

Annual passenger traffic and aircraft movements at Kempegowda International Airport
Year Passenger traffic Aircraft movement
Passengers Percent change Aircraft movements Percent change
2015 18,111,096[63] +25.2% 146,734[64] +12.9%
2014 14,470,900[63] +13.2% 130,025[64] +13.8%
2013 12,779,119[65] +6.4% 114,239[66] +7.6%
2012 12,010,553[65] −4.2% 106,175[66] −10.2%
2011 12,543,523[67] +11.6% 118,227[68] +7.3%
2010 11,237,468[67] +19.1% 110,171[68] +7.9%
2009 9,434,141[69] 102,097[70]

Other facilities[edit]

Menzies Aviation Bobba and AISATS cargo terminals viewed from the road to the airport

Aviation fuel services[edit]

The airport has a fuel farm, spread over 11 acres (4.5 ha) west of the cargo village and passenger terminal. It was built by IndianOil SkyTanking Ltd (IOSL) but is shared by multiple oil companies.[71] In October 2008, Indian Oil commissioned a 36-kilometre (22 mi) fuel pipeline between its storage terminal in Devanagonthi and Kempegowda Airport. Previously, jet fuel had to be transported to the airport by tank trucks, which created traffic and pollution problems.[72]

Cargo facilities[edit]

Kempegowda Airport has three cargo terminals. One is operated by Menzies Aviation Bobba Pvt Ltd and has a capacity for 150,000 tonnes (170,000 short tons) of cargo;[73] it includes a facility for storing pharmaceuticals.[74] Air India SATS (AISATS) operates one terminal, which can handle 200,000 tonnes (220,000 short tons) of cargo.[73] AISATS is also constructing the AISATS Coolport, which will be able to hold 40,000 tonnes (44,000 short tons) of perishable goods.[75] Lastly, DHL and Blue Dart Aviation jointly operate a 20,500-square-metre (221,000 sq ft) terminal.[76]

BIAL inaugurated a separate cargo village in December 2008. The village is spread over 11 acres (4.5 ha) and includes office space, conference rooms, a cafeteria for staff and parking space for nearly 80 trucks.[73] It did not open for occupation until 2010 and initially suffered low occupancy, which some cargo agents attributed to the opening delay, high rent and limited infrastructure.[77]

Connectivity[edit]

The trumpet interchange between NH 7 and the road leading from Kempegowda Airport
BMTC Volvo buses connecting the city to the airport

Road[edit]

Kempegowda Airport is connected to the city of Bangalore by National Highway 7 (NH 7). In January 2014, a six-lane flyover was completed over NH 7 between Hebbal and the airport, helping to reduce travel time to and from the city.[78][79] The airport car park is located at ground level and can hold 2,000 vehicles.[2] The airport is served by several taxi and rental car companies.[80] In addition, ride-sharing companies Ola and Uber have their own pick-up zones outside the terminal.[81][82]

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) provides bus transportation to major parts of the city through the Vayu Vajra (Kannada for "Diamond in the Air") service.[83] It is operated using a fleet of Volvo B7RLE buses. In addition, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates a nonstop bus service between Kempegowda Airport and Mysore, as well as a route to Manipal via Mangalore.[84]

Rail[edit]

Under Phase 3 of the Namma Metro, a rail link will be constructed between the city and Kempegowda Airport, which will receive an underground station.[85] RITES has conducted a feasibility study and selected five possible routes;[86] however, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) has yet to choose one.[85] A high-speed rail link was previously considered and went as far as obtaining approval from the Union Government.[87] However, the project was eventually scrapped due to high costs and the lack of stops along the line.[88][89]

Future plans[edit]

The second phase of expansion is underway, which encompasses the construction of a second runway and passenger terminal. When complete, Kempegowda Airport will be able to handle 55 million passengers per year.[90][91] The estimated 4,000 crore (US$590 million) project received clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests in September 2014.[92][93]

Ground work on the second runway began in February 2016 and will continue for another 12 months, after which the runway will be laid.[92] Located south of the original terminal, it will be parallel to runway 09/27 and measure 4,000 by 60 metres (13,120 ft × 200 ft), wider than the original runway so it can accommodate larger aircraft. The new runway will also be CAT III certified, allowing for landings in fog and other low visibility conditions.[94] The design of Terminal 2 will be finalised in August 2016, which is being prepared by US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Construction of the terminal is expected to begin in January 2017, with the first stage allowing for a capacity of 20 million annual passengers and the second stage raising it to 35 million.[92]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See Runway#Naming for the naming convention for runways.

References[edit]

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