Come October, and the second runway of the Bengaluru airport equipped with anti-fog mechanism will be ready for operations. And with this, fog-induced delays could soon be a thing of the past for people flying in and out of Bengaluru. This announcement was made by Bangalore International Airport Limited’s (BIAL) Managing Director and CEO Hari Marar on Wednesday.
“The new runway will be equipped with systems that will allow us to operate in zero visibility. The runway will also support landing of Airbus A380 or any other advanced aircraft,” Marar said.
Marar was speaking at a press conference where BIAL announced that phase 1 of the second terminal – T2, will be functional from October 1. Marar added that this will also allow the airport to shut down the current runway, which has been in use continuously for the last 10 years, for repair works. The current runway will also be equipped with similar anti-fog systems later.
On Thursday, a total of 61 flight schedules were affected in Bengaluru due to intense fog, with three flights diverted to Chennai and another 58 flights delayed.
This second runway is part of the airport’s Rs 13,000 crore expansion plan, which involves a new terminal, a second runway, widening of access roads as well as a new multi-modal transport hub. This includes setting up of two metro stations inside the 4,000 acre airport campus and also possibility of a sub-urban railway station.
"The second terminal – T2 – is our dedication to this beautiful city of Bengaluru. Designed as a reflection of this City, T2 will be founded on four pillars: technological leadership, being a terminal in a garden, environmental and ecological stewardship and a celebration of Karnataka’s rich heritage and culture," Marar described.
The expansion cost will also likely result in an increase of the User Development Fee (UDF) but that will be fixed only after consultation with the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).
These changes are part of the airport’s aim to be a gateway to India, as nearly 2.7 crore passengers used the airport in the last financial year. In 10 years, the passenger count of the airport has nearly tripled since it started operations. Once the second phase is completed, the airport will be able to cater to 5 crore passengers in a year, according to projections.
The airport has been ranked the world’s second fastest growing airport with 26% ownership, equally held by the state and central governments and the rest 74% owned by Fairfax (54%) and Siemens (20%).
At present, five Indian airports viz. Chandigarh, Kolkata, Delhi, Amritsar and Jaipur, have Cat-III-B ILS (Category 3 Instrument Landing Systems), which allows flights to take off and land at visibilities of as low as 50m.