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?

Few options:
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.

6 Comments so far

  1. Sid (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

    They could extend the proposed North-South Metro corridor to the new Airport. I guess this is logical and since they are going to be laying new tracks for this corridor, they might as well extend them. And they could run special trains called Airport Express on these very tracks that pick you up from say Majestic and take you straight to the Airport.

    One fine example is the Hong Kong Airport where they have a check-in and immigration counter in the center of the city and once you check in your baggages etc, you just have to sit in the train and wait for the ride to the airport. Once you are there transfer to the plane and fly!

  2. silkboard (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 5:55 pm

    Good suggestion SID. Actually, Adi’s #4 is almost that plan.

    I have been beating this topic to death. And I agree with you that for the airport and even otherwise, we need ‘expressway’ like things through the city. There have been proposals (remember “core inner ring road” that was discussed few months ago?) but its a tough thing to pull off.

  3. Adi (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    Thanks for your comment! :)
    I have been told that they have planned for it. The plans are pending Govt. approvals! Check out my post on clarification from the BAI Chairman

    Will check out your posts!
    They are executing those proposals in fact. It’s exciting to know all that!

  4. Sameer (unregistered) on September 24th, 2006 @ 9:41 am

    Seriously, if i want to go to Chennai/Mysore/Coimbatore, the road’s a much better bet! A lot of us live on the fringes of the city, and the NICE road etc can ensure we zip out to the highways.

    To catch a flight – u gotta stick to a schedule, get to the airport and hour in advance, hence start 2 hours or more in advance. In that much time, you’re almost halfway to Chennai! And you could start *whenever* cause there’s no scheduled departure.

  5. tarlesubba (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

    looks like BMRDA is on this case.
    They have called for tenders for DPR for a “Road cum Rail Expressway” from ORR to the airport.
    No. KRDCL/IFB/2006/20 Dated: 14.09.2006


    1. Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited [KRDCL] on behalf of Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) invites bids for the following services from reputed consultants in the field of Road/Bridge Construction.

    “Consulting services for preparation of Detailed Project Report for Road cum Rail Expressway from Outer Ring Road of Bangalore to International Airport at Devanahalli (BMRDA Project)”

    2. Interested bidders may purchase the RFP documents from 18.09.2006 to 29.09.2006 by paying an amount of Rs.5,500/-, (Rs. 6,500/- if requested through courier / post) through D.D. payable to Managing Director, KRDCL, at the above address.

    3. The last date for submission of completed documents is 30.09.2006 up to 3.00 P.M.




  6. silkboard (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

    good find Tarle. I suspect this is the same expressway that was n the news 3 weeks ago – starts somewhere b/w Hebbal Flyover and Old Madras Road (foget the name of exact place). ToI etc just said it was an ‘exressway’ which it is – but is a ‘road cum rail’ expressway.

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