New Bangalore International Airport opens to traffic
PM News Bureau
The $630 million new Bengaluru International Airport opened
to commercial operations on May 23. An Indian flight IC609 from Mumbai heralded
the beginning of operations of the airport located at Devanahalli, around 40 km
away from Bangalore's central business district.
Though the modern facility is now open, connectivity shortcomings persist. The
state government, it is alleged, has not done its bit to provide dedicated
high-speed road connectivity, and it is feared that reaching the airport from
the Electronic City (Bangalore's business hub) could take up to four hours, much
longer than a short-haul flight to say, Chennai. As of now, connectivity will be
through a four-lane trumpet interchange connecting NH-7 to the airport. The old
airport, around 10 km form the city centre, in use since the 1940s has now
closed for commercial operations.
The airport is India's first attempt at creating aviation infrastructure through
the public-private partnership mode. The concession agreement with Bangalore
International Airport was signed in July 2004 and the airport was completed in a
record time of 33 months. Earlier scheduled to open in March this year, the
opening was postponed due to the civil aviation's ministry to provide air
traffic control services then. The new airport will handle 11 million passengers
and 3.5 lakh tonnes of cargo per year.
[May 26-June 1, 2008]