BENGALURU: An IndiGo flight between Bengaluru and Raipur was the first to take off from the second runway of the Kempegowda International Airport at 4.35 pm on Friday following clearance given by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The clearance has been given only for departures for the next two months.
The IndiGo flight 6E 466 took off for Raipur via Hyderabad.
According to DGCA sources, "The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) gave the clearance to airport operator Bangalore International Airport Limited yesterday. The DGCA gave the clearance around 2 pm today. The clearance is only for departures for the next two months," he said.
The issue of slopes on either side of the runway being steep, an aspect that could pose a security risk for both aircraft and passengers in case the flight steers off the runway, was seen as a risk factor by the DGCA during an inspection three weeks ago. The non-clearance given to operate flights from the second runway ensured that the new runway could not be launched as scheduled on Thursday (December 5).
"The slope has almost been rectified. However, we have given clearance only for departures. By December-end, BIAL has promised the slope would be fully set right. Permission for arrivals too would be looked into after that," said a source.
The DGCA has also laid a condition that flights can operate only in conditions of 5 km and above visibility, "This means that flights can operate only in good weather conditions," the source said.
Three other flights also departed from the second runway, an airport source said.
The second runway is expected to increase the number of flights operated from KIA manifold. Since it would be CAT-III compliant (flights can operate in low visibility conditions), the frequent cancellations and massive delays that take place annually during the months of December and January upsetting travel plans will be a thing of the past.