With eye on future growth, KIA plans third runway

With eye on future growth, KIA plans third runway

A third runway is in the agenda of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), preparing well in advance to cater to an annual passenger turnout of 65 million in the future.

Dubbed as the New North Parallel Runway (NNPR), this has been a critical part of the airport's original master plan.

But there is a problem. Due to the prevalent airspace restrictions, the location recommended for NNPR is 1,500 metres north of the existing runway.

The plot falls way outside the airport's boundary. The effort now is to ensure that Obstacles Limitation Surfaces (OLS) is safeguarded.Simply put, this means objects detrimental to aviation should not be located within the Obstacle Restriction Area of the airport. Only equipment and installations required for air navigation purposes, of minimum practicable mass and height, could be placed in the area. This is to reduce the hazard to aircraft to a minimum. High-rise buildings and other objects that could potentially impede aircraft landings and take-offs will not be permitted.

Civil aviation experts see the third runway's remote location as an advantage. The 1,500-metre cushion will help unhindered air operations in the years to come.

The state government had been urged to acquire a strip of land required just for the operation of the third runway. This was to be connected via a cross field taxiway system to the main terminal facilities. There are two villages at the proposed location, with large habitation, water bodies and forest land.

Although acquiring a plot here was considered tough, in May this year, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) had floated a Request For Proposal (RFQ) to conduct an Obstacle Limitations Surfaces Survey of the area. This will ensure that no high-rises or other obstacles come up in the vicinity of the area.

The survey will also identify first obstacles in the take-off climb surfaces; lines of trees/pylons close to the aerodrome in the flight's approach/take-off surfaces; high ground that may affect the circuit height; obstacles such as chimneys and masts and large single objects.

KIA is expected to operationalise a second runway by September 2019. Currently, the airport has a 4,000-metre runway with CAT-1 Instrument Landing System (ILS) capability.

Dubbed the 'New South Parallel Runway (NSPR),' the second runway too will be 4,000 metres long, but with an enhanced CAT-III ILS. This will minimise fog-related flight disruptions that is the norm now.

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