With two runways, KIA targets 95 million fliers a year

The Kempegowda International Airport is the third busiest airport in India. DH FILE PHOTO

Boosted by the addition of a second runway, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is now projected to cater to 95 million passengers per annum (MPPA) in the future, an upgrade from 65 million. The daily Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) is also expected to touch 1,500 over the next decade. 

The Bangalore International Airport Limited's (BIAL) basis for this projection: Surge in air travel, the introduction of new routes and additional flights to cater to this growth. 

Once both the KIA runways are upgraded and operationalised by October 2020, the big growth will begin to show. A BIAL spokesperson has indicated that the growth will be driven by mixed-mode operations on the new runway and navigational enhancements. 

The airspace will also be reconfigured with additional arrival and departure routes. "Based on these improvements, our projection for the next decade is in the region of 1,350-1,500 ATMs per day." 

Despite the ups and downs in the aviation market, the airport has seen a perceptible growth trend over the last four years. Passenger volumes at the KIA grew by 12.5% and flights grew by 11.6% for the period April-November 2019 over April-November 2018. 

Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, the Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in international passenger numbers grew by 10% and flights by 8.2%, according to the BIAL. 

The last 12 months have been a tumultuous year for Indian aviation. Critical factors: The closure of Jet Airways, a dip in growth in passenger volumes due to multiple global issues including supply-side challenges caused by the Boeing 737Max grounding and engine issues with the Airbus A320neo. 

Despite this, the BIAL is optimistic. "The market seems to be recovering, and once it stabilises over the next few months, we expect traffic growth bounce back. We estimate that passenger volumes at the KIA will be between 55 and 65 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) in the next five years, growing to 75 to 80 MPPA over the next 10 years."

As of November 2019, the KIA is connected to 57 overseas and domestic routes. This is a 20% growth in connectivity over the last three years. The top 10 international destinations from Bengaluru between April and November 2019 were Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Colombo, Hong Kong, France, London and Doha. 

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