Opening of BIA Terminal-1 to be delayed

Opening of BIA Terminal-1 to be delayed

Operations at the much-awaited Terminal-1 (T1) at Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) will be delayed by several weeks.

The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) had said last year that the Rs 1,000-crore expansion project, which had begun in June 2011, would be available for passengers by mid-2013. However, officials now say it will only be available in December 2013-March 2014.

“Given the pace of progress on the expansion of passenger terminal areas, travellers can look forward to enjoying the enhanced T1 in stages from the fourth quarter of 2013-14,” a spokesperson said replying by email to a query by this newspaper.
T1 will eventually handle 18 million passengers annually as against BIA’s earlier
capacity of 12.5 million. It will be spread across 1,34,000 square metres.

Officials attributed the delay to the fact that the expansion was being carried out at an existing terminal. The expanded terminal is expected to cater to  about 20 million passengers. “It is aimed at significantly improving passenger experience, making access to seating, amenities and commercial facilities easier and better,” an official said.

BIAL has already announced that the consortium is also working on the second terminal (T2) to position BIA as the gateway to South India. “Depending on the traffic growth in 2013, the construction of T2 will start,” Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, BIAL, had said in January.

Having completed five years of operation on May 24, BIA witnessed a record high in passenger traffic just 10 days before its fifth anniversary, with 42,981 passengers on a single day on May 13.

“The previous record was achieved over 15 months ago, with 42,505 passengers in December 2011. The airport has till date welcomed over 55 million passengers, even as its expanded T1 is all set to open its doors this year,” the spokesperson said. For the year ending March 31, BIA handled close to 12 million passengers and 226,667 million tonnes of cargo.

BIAL has also planned expansion on both sides of the existing terminal, which are open spaces, ensuring minimal disruption to the operating portion of the terminal.

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