Devanahalli Airport – nearer to Devaru than mankind?
The new Bangalore airport that has been proposed at Devanahalli is far away from every inhabited place in Bangalore. It becomes just too far for someone just taking a regional flight of one hour. And the flight timing for most of the cities from Bangalore will be well within a couple of hours. It is plain impractical to locate the airport at such a God-forsaken place. Imagine the time taken to travel to the airport in your city being equal to the time taken to travel from one city to another!
So, what could we do? Since already millions of dollars have been invested into this can we find some way of making this a win-win for everyone involved? Is it possible? Of course, it is going to be the most developed and high-tech airport the country has ever seen and all that. So, can we also make it accessible please?
1. Have an elevated road built throughout the way from the airport to electronic city with relevant landings into key areas. Okay okay, I know it will cost a bomb. But then think of the intangible benefits that it will give. Any person landing at the airport would want to just rush to the electronic city (IT hub of Bangalore/ India). If he sees that you have taken pains to ensure his travel takes place smoothly, he will be damn pleased and extremely bullish about India. And this will turn into the best tangible i.e. money in the form of investment into the city/ country. Assumming he is an investor and most of the visitors to Bangalore do think about investing.
2. Retain the HAL airport for domestic flights and divert the international flights to the new airport. And have an elevated road connecting the domestic and international airports otherwise the traveler trying to get from one airport to the other will find himself on one of the famous jams near the maratahalli bridge! We might even want to provide chopper transfers for those who can afford it. Yeah, too costly, but then people who might afford it might love it! And who knows, Air Deccan might offer that for 50ps or something with Rs.1250/- surcharge and taxes of course! ;)
3. Have exclusive luxury (Mind you! Air travellers won’t mind paying for that I guess!) buses running directly from various areas in the city to the airport. Classify them according to luxury and also the road on which they operate. For example a Pushpak running on city roads could be #1, Pushpak running on the elevated road could be #2, airawata running on elevated road could be #3. There could be three types or even more as far as out imagination and finance goes! On another note, maybe the airlines would like to provide these services as a special service to board their flights.
4. Anyway, they have been planning for an Elevated Light-rail Transport System. (ELTS) But the problem is this airport will be complete by 2008/2009 and that ELTS project might take twill 2012. So, for 3 to 4 years how do we get to the airport? If we start making the road now, maybe there’s a possibility. Otherwise we are just going to increase the misery of our air travellers.