KIA 2nd runway's 1st flight to land Oct 1

Fog delays will soon be history, existing runway to be upgraded

Fog delays will be history soon, as the airport will also upgrade its existing runway once the new facility stabilises. DH Photo

The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will see the first commercial flight to land on a brand new, fully equipped runway on October 1. Fog delays will be history soon, as the airport will also upgrade its existing runway once the new facility stabilises.

Ending speculations of any delay, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) on Thursday announced that all work on the second runway will be completed by September-end. Once the new facility stabilises in three months, the existing runway will be shut down for the upgrade.

The top surface of the existing runway will be relaid as it has been in operation for 11 years. “We will also build shoulders for the taxiway. At least one way, the old runway will be equipped with Category III-B Instrument Landing System (ILS) that will ensure landing even with zero visibility,” BIAL Chief Executive Officer, Hari Marar told media persons.

The existing runway's grossly inadequate ILS system has disrupted over 300 flight operations in the last one week alone, jeopardising travel plans of thousands of passengers. Thick early morning fog that envelopes the KIA and its surroundings reduce visibility to near zero.

The second runway, called the New South Parallel Runway (NSPR), besides being ILS III-B compliant, will also allow landing of Code F aircraft such as the massive Airbus-380. The facility will be 4,000 metres long, complemented by dual-parallel taxiways and an Eastern crossfield taxiway, Marar informed.

Already 15 months in the making, the runway construction involved 16 million cubic metres of earthwork, cutting, filling and grading. “One lakh Metric Tons of boulders had to be relocated, besides 40 MT of aggregates.”

The two runways will have to be fully operationalised by 2020 to meet the high Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of passenger traffic at KIA. BIAL has estimated that the CAGR will increase by 13.5% over the next few years.

The annual passenger traffic has already hit 33.5 million this year, informed Marar. “The traffic will triple over the next 10 years. By 2024-25, KIA will be as a big as the Heathrow Airport in London.”  When the airport opened in 2008, there were only 378 commercial flights operating in the country. That number has now gone up to 600, with another 800 in order.

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KIA 2nd runway's 1st flight to land Oct 1

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