BENGALURU: Two months after the originally proposed deadline, the second runway of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is all set to commence operations from December 5. As soon as it picks up momentum, the existing runway will be temporarily closed to carry out maintenance works.
Bengalureans eagerly await this runway as foggy conditions have thrown flight schedules haywire annually ever since airport operations began in May 2008, upsetting travel plans. The existing runway cannot operate flights in conditions of poor visibility. The new South Parallel Runway is CAT III B certified, which means it can operate flights in inclement weather conditions too.
The South Runway will be operational on December 5, confirmed a spokesperson of the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). However, the schedule of operations is yet to be decided. Responding to a list of queries from The New Indian Express, the spokesperson said that when fully operational, the new runway will operate both domestic and international flights.
Asked about the present runway, the spokesperson said, “The rehabilitation of the existing North Runway is expected to begin early in 2020. The schedule will depend on the operationalisation of the new South Runway.” Both the runways will be used for arrival and departure purposes later, she said.
Speaking about the technical dimensions of the runway, the spokesperson said, the South Runway is 4,000m long and 45m wide, and will be able to accommodate all types of aircrafts. It will also have its own fire station.
To facilitate seamless passage through the terminal when the new runway begins operations, BIAL has begun the process of supplementing manpower at the terminal and specialised staffers including fire fighters, it added. On the cost involved, the spokesperson said, “This is part of the Rs 13,000 crore infrastructure expansion programme at the airport.”