HAL airport to KIA, a decade-old transition

HAL airport to KIA, a decade-old transition

Exactly 10 years ago, Air India Flight 609 from Mumbai had landed at the Bangalore International Airport in Devanahalli, emphatically turning a new chapter in the city's aviation history. Today, with a 'Kempegowda' prefix, the country's third busiest airport enters its 11th year with a clear target of passenger numbers: 65 million.

Before India's third greenfield airport started operations on May 24, 2008, Bengalureans had to rely on the overcrowded HAL airport, bursting at its seams. In 2006-07, the old airport handled 83,880 scheduled flights, 330 take-offs and landings every day. Ten years later, the KIA clocked 1,97,330 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) in just one year, 2017-18.

Forty-four airlines now connect the KIA to 67 destinations: 46 domestic and 21 international. Before its closure for commercial operations, the space-starved HAL airport had handled 10,518 international flights in 2006-07.

The immediate agenda for the KIA is clear: to complete the second runway by September 2019, start work on the second terminal (T2) and get the airport all geared up for its next big target: 50 million passengers per year. In 2017, the KIA had become India's third busiest airport by crossing the 25-million passenger mark in a calendar year.

Infrastructure major, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), had bagged the Rs 1,358-crore contract to build the KIA's second runway. Completion of this facility, dubbed New South Parallel Runway, in 2019 will boost the 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.

Airport Habba 

To celebrate the airport's 10th anniversary, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has organised a grand 'Blr Airport Habba' on Saturday, at the KIA's Haj Terminal, 2 pm onwards. 

Lined up for the Habba are performances by top artistes, music concerts and workshops besides food and beverage stalls, a flea market, kids' zone, gamers' paradise and a chilling area. Workshops include Lahe Lahe, Aero Modelling, Clay Pot, Dream Catcher, Decode X&Y and Paper Marbling.

The artiste line-up: Leading playback singer Shaan, DJ Jasmeet, alternative rock band Kalpanik Theory, Jambe Collective, leading singer and song writer Loysum, city-based musician Sagar Shastri, top Latin pop band Artesanato Pulso, multi-genre Indie band Mannat, rock band Aathma and solo artiste Soundharya. The Aiport Habba will stay alive until midnight.