BENGALURU: In 2017, air traffic at the Kempegowda International Airport grew by 4.3 per cent with a total of 25.04 million passengers using the airport. In its annual statistics shared on Tuesday, the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) recorded a growth of 12.9 per cent in passenger numbers while air traffic movements (ATMs) grew to around 505 per day. “KIA was rated as the fastest growing airport globally by FlightGlobal. This is a reflection of the status of Bengaluru as one of the fastest growing cities in India,” said Hari Marar, Managing Director and CEO, BIAL, in a statement.
The country’s third largest airport saw an increase in leisure travel with a young demographic driving the growth. While the number of domestic passengers grew by 14.5 per cent to reach 21.31 million, the number of international passengers using KIA was 3.73 million. KIA is the largest airport in South India. The statistics also show that a total of 184, 348 ATMs took place in 2017 compared to 176,797 ATMs in 2016. A large part of the growth was fuelled by domestic air traffic movement at 4.6 per cent while international ATMs grew by 2.1 per cent.
Four new routes, including connectivity to Silchar in Assam and Udaipur in Rajasthan as well as two international routes to Amsterdam and Bahrain were added in 2017. Two new airlines, DHL Aviation International Cargo and Malindo Air also began operations at KIA. Regional connectivity to Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru, Coimbatore, Madurai, Hubblli, Rajamundry, Agatti Island and Belagavi was also enhanced with additional flights.
In terms of efficiency, the airport was on time 87 per cent of the time through the year. The first bag was delivered on an average of 10 minutes of the aircraft reaching the parking bay. “The average airport taxi waiting time was clocked between 3 to 5 minutes and KIA registered a rating of 4.82 on a scale of 5 for the Airport Service Quality Scores in 2017,” the statement by BIAL said.
In 2018, work on the second runway as well as construction of the second terminal will begin in the middle of the year. The second runway will be operational by 2019 and T2 will be operational by 2021. KIA’s capacity will reach 65 million by T2 end.