BENGALURU: After getting the green-light from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the refurbished and upgraded North runway at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), which is parallel to the first one, commenced operations on Thursday.With the functioning of the second runway, the airport has become the first in South Indian to operate parallel runways, according to a release from the Bangalore International Airports Ltd (BIAL), which operates KIA.
Closed for operations since June last year, the North runway’s refurbishment included strengthening the surface and addition of two new taxiways. These enhancements offer the airport the flexibility to operate both runways in low visibility and adverse weather conditions.
The runway will continue to be categorised as ‘CAT I’, but has been enhanced with new installations such as LED centreline lighting, inset runway edge lights and taxiway centreline lighting, and two new mid-point transmissometers. All these installations will be commissioned later this year.BIAL had initially proposed an upgrade of the North runway to CAT IIIB. However, based on the outcome of stakeholder consultations and considering the drop in traffic due to the pandemic, the runway will remain CAT I compliant.
In addition, given that low visibility weather conditions at KIA usually occur during limited periods each year, one CAT IIIB compliant south runway should suffice for seamless operations in the near term, according to BIAL.With the CAT IIIB-equipped south runway operational since December 6, 2019, these enhancements will offer the airport the flexibility to operate both runways in low visibility and adverse weather conditions. The new enhanced equipment on North runway enables an aircraft to take-off with a runway visual range (RVR) of 125 metres and land at 550 metres.