Bengaluru: The Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru commenced operations on the new South Runway with the take off of the first flight on the 4000-metres long and 45-metres wide airstrip. The significant milestone was achieved at 4.37pm on Friday.
This makes Bengaluru Airport the first in the Country to operate independent parallel runways, enabling aircraft to land or take-off simultaneously on both runways. The groundwork for the second runway began in February 2016 and the project has met its original 2019-end deadline.
“It is a historic day for us at BLR Airport as we commenced operations on the new runway,” said Hari Marar, MD & CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited, operator of the BLR Airport.
“Our first runway opened 11 years ago, and became a linchpin for the region’s economic development during the last decade. With the aviation industry in India set for exponential growth, two operational runways will provide the thrust required to cater to this demand and further bolster growth of Karnataka and India. The opening of this key infrastructure is the outcome of phenomenal collaboration amongst various stakeholders and implementation of processes and procedures developed through advanced simulations and assessments. The new Runway will further bolster our vision to transform BLR Airport into the new gateway to India,” Marar added.
The South Runway will begin with limited operations before gradually scaling up flight operations. The runway will initially have CAT I certification, and, as operations stabilise, will progressively manage CAT III B operations, enabling landing and takeoff in extremely low visibility conditions. The new runway will be coded RWY 09R/27L, while the existing runway will be renamed RWY 09L/27R (from RWY 09/27).
With safety being top-most priority, Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has built an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station equipped with advanced, state-of-the-art Crash Fire Tenders (CFTs) to cater to any fire-related emergencies on the South Runway. The Airport fire trucks meet the highest safety standards, replete with innovative product features. Over 100 firefighters were recruited from across Karnataka and expert fire engineers from National Fire Safety College, Nagpur, to strengthen the firefighting squad.
About Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) is a public limited company – formed under The Companies Act – to build, own and operate the Greenfield Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) for a 30-year concession period. BLR Airport is the first Greenfield airport in India to be built as a private-public partnership. Private promoters hold 74% (Fairfax 54% and Siemens Projects Ventures 20%) stake in BIAL, while the government holds the remaining 26% (Karnataka State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited – 13%, Airports Authority of India – 13%).
The BLR Airport began operations in May 2008 and plays a key role in driving the economy of the region – offering a wide air-route network, with over 37 passenger airlines and 12 cargo airlines connecting Bengaluru to the rest of the world. Currently the fastest-growing Airport in the world, the busiest airport in South India and the third largest in the Country, the BLR Airport welcomed 33.3 million passengers in FY 2018-19, registering a 23.8% Y-O-Y growth. The BLR Airport is the only airport in the world with a rare distinction of having won ACI-ASQ Awards for both Arrival and Departure in 2019.