HAL Airport

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HAL Airport
Airport typeMilitary
LocationBangalore, Karnataka, India
Elevation AMSL2,912 ft / 888 m
Coordinates12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95000°N 77.66833°E / 12.95000; 77.66833Coordinates: 12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95000°N 77.66833°E / 12.95000; 77.66833
VOBG is located in Bengaluru
VOBG is located in Karnataka
VOBG is located in India
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 10,850 3,307 Asphalt

HAL Airport (IATA: none, ICAO: VOBG), also known as Hindustan Airport, is an airport located in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Due to its location in the heart of the city, it used to serve as a hub for general, business and VIP aviation, as well as being used by the Indian Air Force as a cargo and logistics base, and as a testing facility by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It served as the city's main domestic and international airport until 24 May 2008, when it was replaced by the new, much larger Kempegowda International Airport in Devanahalli. There have since been repeated attempts to restart commercial service at the airport, but as of 2015 was being used only for non-scheduled, military cargo/logistics, VIP aircraft movements, and as a diversion alternative to Kempegowda International Airport in case of emergencies.


The passenger terminal viewed in 2006

The airport was constructed in 1940 by Walchand Hirachand, founder of Hindustan Aircraft Company (now Hindustan Aeronautics Limited), as an aircraft manufacturing centre. Two years later, the airport was requisitioned by the British for use by the Royal Air Force in order to protect India from Japan during World War II.[1][2]

In 1964 the airport was acquired by the newly established Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.[3][4] Commercial flights, initially only domestic, began in 1980.[3]

The first international flights from HAL Airport began in 1997.[5] In September 2001, Lufthansa commenced flights between Frankfurt and Bangalore, marking the airport's first nonstop link to Europe.[6] British Airways and Air France followed in October 2005 with flights to London and Paris, respectively.[7][8]

Transfer of civilian operations[edit]

During the 2000s, commercial traffic to HAL Airport was rising at a rate of roughly 35% per year. Between 2006 and 2007 the airport received 8.2 million passengers, well above its capacity of 3.6 million.[9]

Because of this, in July 2004 the Government of India permitted the construction of another much larger airport for the city, situated 30 km (19 mi) from the downtown area of the city in the suburb of Devanahalli,[10][11] after a concession agreement with Bangalore International Airports Limited. The new airport, named Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB), opened on 24 May 2008. Per the Government's decision that no two commercial airports could exist within a 150 km (93 mi) radius, all passenger and revenue cargo flights were transferred from HAL Airport to KIAB.

Since then, there have been several attempts to reinstate commercial air service at HAL Airport. Shortly before BIAL's opening, 20,000 employees of the Airports Authority of India went on strike against the closure of HAL Airport and Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad.[12] In January 2015, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar appealed to the Civil Aviation Minister to reopen HAL Airport, citing its loss of revenue and its convenient location within Bangalore.[13] However, the Indian Government has repeatedly denied these requests in accordance with its 150 km policy.

The airport however remains operational round the clock (H24 ATC watch hours) due to non-scheduled, military cargo/logistics, and VIP aircraft movements and as a diversion alternative to Kempegowda International Airport in case of emergencies.



HAL Airport has one main runway,

  • Runway 09/27: 3,307 by 60 metres (10,850 ft x 200 ft) CAT I, ILS equipped

This is the principal runway at the airport. It can cater to any type of aircraft including Code-F aircraft like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747. There are 4 entry/exit taxiways, 2 on the east side named E2 (perimeter) and E1. Similarly there are 2 taxiways on the west side - W2 (perimeter) and W1. In addition, there are six aprons.

Closed structures[edit]

The passenger terminal is located on the north side of the airport. It contains two jetways and separate sections for domestic and international flights. Despite the rise in passenger traffic, there was no room to expand the terminal, and the apron in front of it could only park six aircraft.[14] This terminal has now been converted into an executive terminal with lounges and facilities for business and VIP aviation.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • 14 February 1990, Indian Airlines Flight 605, an Airbus A320, crashed on final approach with 92 fatalities.[15]
  • 28 December 1996, a Blue Dart Aviation Boeing 737 made a heavy, off-center landing causing damage to the aircraft and runway.[16]
  • 12 February 2004, a helicopter being used by the HAL Rotary Wing Academy crashed, injuring both occupants.[17]
  • 26 October 2005, an Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashed killing the pilot.[18]
  • 11 March 2006, a Deccan ATR 72, with 40 passengers and 4 crew made a heavy landing. There were no major injuries but the aircraft was written off.[19][20]
  • 4 May 2006, a Transmile Air Services 727-2F2F suffered damage to the left wing fuel tank.[21]
  • 21 August 2006, a Kiran Mark II trainer aircraft crashed after the wheels failed.[22]
  • 6 June 2007, Sri Lankan Cargo Antonov An-12 lost engine power on runway.[23]
  • 6 March 2009, A NAL Saras aircraft prototype that had taken off from HAL Airport crashed in a field near Bidadi, killing the three man crew of test pilots.[24]
  • 1 February 2019, An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 modified by HAL on an acceptance flight crashed 500 meters outside the airport perimeter wall after an unsuccessful touch and go on runway 09, both pilots ejected but landed on burning wreckage and died[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "HAL airport wears desert look after BIA launch". Oneindia. 24 May 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Our History". Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Airport Services Centre Bangalore: Brief History". Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  4. ^ Mukherjee, Andy (2 June 2008). "New Bangalore airport is a dream going sour". livemint.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  5. ^ Hollis, Leo (2013). Cities are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis. A&C Black. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-4088-2662-1.
  6. ^ Lufthansa services from Bangalore. The Hindu. 3 September 2001. Archived from the original on 6 November 2004. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Explore our past: 2000 - 2009". British Airways. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  8. ^ AIR FRANCE CONTINUES TO EXPAND SERVICES TO INDIA WITH A NEW ROUTE TO BANGALORE, ITS FIFTH DESTINATION IN INDIA, LAUNCHED ON 30 OCTOBER 2005. Air France. 14 December 2005. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Passenger traffic grows 35% at Bangalore airport". The Hindu Business Line. 29 December 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Pact for Bangalore airport signed". The Economic Times. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  11. ^ David, Stephen (29 July 2004). "On the runway: Bangalore International Airport to be India's first private sector-led project". India Today. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  12. ^ Slow take-off for airport stir Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Indo-Asian News Service via Gulf News. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. ^ Ajmer, Singh (16 January 2015). Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar wants Bengaluru’s shut-down HAL airport reopened. The Economic Times. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Hard times ahead for city airport authorities". The Hindu. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  15. ^ Flight 605 at the Aviation Safety Network
  16. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  17. ^ "Chopper crash-lands at HAL Airport". Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 21 March 2007.
  18. ^ "Pilot killed as MiG crashed in Bangalore". The Hindu. 27 October 2005. Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  19. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  20. ^ "Air Deccan aircraft skids off runway". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
  21. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  22. ^ "Plane crash-lands at Bangalore Airport". Ibnlive.com. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  23. ^ Karnataka. "Air traffic disrupted as cargo aircraft gets stuck on runway". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 17 September 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  24. ^ Kaminski-Morrow, David (30 April 2010). Crashed Saras lost stability during re-light test. Flightglobal. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  25. ^ Rao, Mohit M. (1 February 2019). "Two pilots killed as Mirage aircraft crashes during take-off at Bengaluru HAL airport". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 6 January 2020.

External links[edit]