BENGALURU: The partial closure of Kempegowda Internatinal Airport from February 19 to April 30 between 10.30 am and 5 pm will impact nearly 100 flights per day, including international flights. Considering the fact that Bengaluru airport grew by 22.5 per cent in 2016 with a record 22.18 million passengers, the challenge will be huge. Flight movement at the airport is expected to come down from 540 to 440 per day.
However, none of the passengers had to face inconvenience as announcements were made way ahead of time through the airport’s Twitter handle, newspapers and other social media platforms, according to airport authorities.
Airlines too were informed about the development six months ago. Hari Marar, president, Airport Operations, BIAL said, “Not a single passenger had any issue. It was a well thought-out process from BIAL’s side. Since, all the airlines were informed six months ago, they had not planned any schedules between 10.30 am and 5 pm or made their adjustments accordingly.”
He further added, “The frequency of flights has definitely increased due to the closure. We have accommodated 50-60 flights before and after the closure time. Under usual circumstance, the airport sees 540 flights per day, but due to the ongoing work, it has come down to 440 flight movements now.”
A source in the airport, said, “Once the announcement came across, many international flights had advanced or postponed their flights arrival and departure. As far as domestic flights are concerned, the flights which usually have timings between 10.30 am and 5 pm have cancelled their schedules.”
As part of the upgradation project, BIAL will build two rapid exit taxiways (RETs) to increase runway capacity. With the additional rapid exit taxiways, air traffic movements is expected to go up from 38 to 48 per hour. This is the second time the runway has been shut down. It was closed from March 11 to April 3 in 2012 for emergency repairs. A secondary runway planned in 2019 will further increase the handling capacity of the airport.