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Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport eyes big expansion after serving 33.30 million flyers in 2018-19

Devanjana Nag
Bengaluru Airport

Bengaluru Airport eyes big expansion as passenger traffic continues to grow: At the end of the financial year 2018-19, a record 33.30 million passengers transited through the Kempegowda International Airport. The Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), which is the operator of the BLR Airport has undertaken a massive capacity expansion project, worth Rs 13,000 crore in a bid to cater to the long-term demands of the country’s aviation market. The expansion project includes the first-phase construction of a 255,000 sq m Terminal 2 (T2), an advanced Cat-IIIB Code-F capable runway as well as landside expansion, which, once ready will give a substantial capacity boost to the airport.

Till the time, the first phase of the new terminal is ready for operations in the year 2021, the airport operator aims to continue making various technology enhancements and innovations in order to ease traffic congestion as well as ensure seamless and delightful travel through the airport.

According to Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL, in order to support the growth at the airport, several technology initiatives have been introduced such as the fully-automated self-bag-drop machines, allowing air passengers to complete the baggage check-in in under 45 seconds as well as the Smart Security Lane along with the Automated Tray Retrieval System to make travel seamless. He said that biometric-based self-boarding solutions will be introduced as part of Modi government’s Digi Yatra programme. He further said that development work on the second runway and terminal, along with the airport’s other supporting infrastructure, is going on at full speed. All these measures will provide sufficient capacity to the airport to meet its traffic demand over the next decade, he added.

According to BIAL, the addition of new airlines, as well as new routes to familiar destinations, were some of the major reasons for the BLR Airport to achieve this new milestone. The airport registered a 23.8% growth over the last year s 26.91 million passengers. During the one-year period, domestic air traffic continued to be the main driver of growth, accounting for 28.82 million air passengers, rise 24.8% over the last financial year s 23.09 million passengers. As many as 4.48 million air passengers travelled to and from international destinations, registering a growth of 17.5% over the last year s 3.81 million passengers.

On the other hand, Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) increased by 21.8% with as many as 240,251 landing and take-offs compared to last year’s 197,330 movements. For the financial year 2018-19, the average Air Traffic Movements per day was 658. Also, there has been a sharp increase of 11% in cargo throughput in the financial year 2018-19, handling 386,780 MT as against 348,403 in the year 2017-18. During this period, the international cargo processed was 242,650 MT while the domestic cargo was 144,130 MT.