KIA annual passenger traffic crosses 25 million, joins big league
Rasheed Kappan, BENGALURU, DH News Service, Jan 12 2018, 1:25 IST
Growing passenger traffic at Kempegowda International Airport
Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), India's third busiest, has just joined the big league. For the first time ever, the annual passenger numbers at KIA crossed 25 million in the calendar year 2017, a record matched only by the international airports in Delhi and Mumbai.
The Bengaluru airport handled a total of 25,048,302 domestic and international passengers from January to December, last year. KIA also set a new passenger record for December: The numbers crossed 2.5 million, the highest for the month since the airport opened in 2008.
Airport sources also revealed that December 2017 clocked another milestone: Air Traffic Movements, including flight take-offs and arrivals, touched the big figure of 600. A critical factor contributing to this surge has been IndiGo's record 116 daily departures from Bengaluru in December.
The average daily passenger turnout which stood at around 60,000 in 2016 went up to a record 85,000 in 2017.
KIA had handled 22.18 million passengers in 2016. An additional 2.86 million people used the region's fastest growing airport in 2017. By crossing the 25 million mark, KIA has jumped into the higher category of 25 to 40 million passenges, a standard fixed by the Airports Council International (ACI).
The high passenger traffic growth is consistent with the trend witnessed last year. In 2016, the passenger numbers had recorded a 22.5% growth over the previous air. Air traffic movements too clocked an impressive year-on-year growth of 19.9%.
The 22.5% annual increase was the highest among the top 100 airports worldwide in 2016. The data, analysed by FlightGlobal, a portal that tracks international aviation trends, had placed KIA ahead of the Bangkok-based Don Mueang International Airport (21.3%).
Having bagged the Rs. 1,358-crore contract to build KIA's second runway, infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is expected to commence work shortly. Completion of this facility, dubbed New South Parallel Runway, in 2019 will boost KIA's capacity to handle more flights and by implication, more passengers. The new runway will cater to all types of aircraft, the Airbus-380 in particular, in all weather conditions.
It is estimated that once the second terminal too becomes operational, the airport's overall capacity could eventually go up to 55 million annual passengers.