BIAL not to hike user fee for next six months

Awaiting guidelines from Airports Economic Regulatory Authority

BIAL not to hike user fee for next six months

 “BIAL has not submitted any application for increasing user development fee. But we are awaiting the guidelines from the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), expected to be released in about six months. Until then we want to finetune our expansion plans and focus on the terminal work,” BIAL Chief Executive Officer Marcel Hungerbuehler told presspersons here on Monday .

He said the work on the expansion of Teminal 1 of the Bengaluru International Airport will begin in February 2011. The Rs 1,000-cr project is scheduled to be completed within 18 months.

The new terminal, spread over an approximate area of 1.34 lakh square meters, will have 88 check-in counters and three huge belts to accommodate baggage of two flights. The idea to have a curved roof for the new terminal is mainly to add a mezzanine floor on either side of the curve in case of further expansion. The project cost will be met with cash flow of the BIAL and through loans.

The expanded terminal will have a capacity to handle 20-million passenger traffic annually. The air traffic has increased by 23 per cent to 10.3 million and is expected to reach 55 million by 2030, he said. He also announced that the work on the Terminal 2 of BIA is expected to commence by 2015.

In another six months, passengers taking flight from BIA will be able to check in with their smart phones. Using the 2D code compliance system approved by the IATA, a bar code will be sent to mobile phone that will give the traveller their flight timings and seat numbers. The facility will be operational once the airlines are equipped with the departure control system that could read the bar code.

Marcel said additional five security check-in counters have been added in response to increasing complaints of travellers missing flights due to long queue to check-in. As regards opening of HAL airport for domestic flights, he said no city has two airports and HAL airport was not equipped to handle increased air traffic flow. “If the HAL airport re-opens, it will double the running cost for all interested parties,” he added.

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