The BIAL (New Airport) Update

For those of you who have been following the new airport developments, here is some more news. Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced the commencement of the integrated trial phase on Feb 28. This stage signals the final trial phase of the airport and involves integrating various processes to simulate real life airport operation.

The trials held included basic and advanced trials. The advanced trials continue and involve testing of combinations of basic processes and stress tests to check capacity of installations, systems and the staff. These trials test the capacity of different sub-processes and eventually show critical areas and possible obstacles. Based on the feedback received, processes are improved and/or fine-tuned.

Of more interest to passengers are options to get to the airport and some of the transportation services planned for the new airport are:

Bus Service: BMTC has procured forty high quality, air-conditioned Volvo buses for dedicated Shuttle Services between the Airport and seven destinations across the City. A trip to MG Road is likely to cost Rs. 130. In addition, BMTC has procured 116 Ashok Leyland Non AC buses to connect the airport to the City; the cost per trip is yet to be decided. BIAL will provide free of cost professional bus bays.

Taxi service: BIAL has selected (by open tender) MERU & EASYCAB to provide basic taxi services. The taxi operators will have basic AC box cars, all equipped with GPS and GPRS to track the journey for safety and transparency. Both operators have professional call centres. Over 900 taxis will be available when the airport begins operations. Pre and post paid taxi facilities will be available on meter charges @ Rs.15/- per km (subject to Govt regulation).

Autorikshaws: BIAL has allocated parking bay for autorikshaws at the Trumpet Flyover and will provide a regular shuttle service from the airport to that location at the auto tariff rate.

Parking Facilities: In addition to 700 car parks for staff, BIAL’s car park can accommodate 2000 cars. This is fully automated with an efficient and transparent management system, provided by SKIDATA™, a leading global provider of car park systems at airports. The car parking system will be managed by Central Parking Solutions, India’s largest car park operator. A 10-minute free parking will be given to all drop off passengers. BIAL will also provide two wheeler parking, valet parking, dedicated zone for tour operator buses and premium areas to pick up hotel guests. Car parking fees include Rs.50/- for the four hours and Rs.40/- for two hours.

User Development Fee

BIAL will charge a User Development Fee to provide and maintain higher infrastructure quality and safety. To ease transition, BIAL will charge a reduced UDF for the first two months, until May 31, 2008. This will be at a fee of Rs 240 plus taxes for domestic passengers and Rs 520 plus taxes for international passengers. Thereafter, the fee will be as per the concession agreement i.e. Rs 675 plus taxes per departing passenger and Rs 955 plus taxes per departing passenger.

Keeping HAL Operational

So I also read that there is now increased pressure on keeping the HAL Airport open. Different political parties are now demanding that the airport should be kept open for short haul flights. That’s of course what citizens have been crying about all this while anyway! If you have to travel for more than 3 hours to catch a flight to Chennai for a duration of less than an hour, it doesn’t make too much sense at all. In fact, the bookings on short haul flights, especially in the Chennai and Mangalore sector have seen a big dip and not surprising considering that road connectivity is good and there’s an overnight train to Mangalore now.

While all this hungama is happening, another news says that the ATC is not yet ready and the new airport will now take off around 2-4 weeks late. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) apparently said that certain safety norms are not upto the standards.

So it seems like the new airport will not open on March 30 as announced. The new date will be revealed shortly and we’re all ears!

5 Comments so far

  1. A.S. (adyx) on March 12th, 2008 @ 1:18 am

    As a person flying in to Bangalore from abroad on the 30th, the last paragraph is extremely interesting. I had been under the impression that the argument was whether the HAL airport should be kept open for domestic flights, but had no idea of this slight possiblity that even my flight could land at the HAL airport…

  2. randramble on March 12th, 2008 @ 2:02 am

    Pretty comprehensive update!

  3. Deponti (bglr_deepa) on March 12th, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    Excellent report Anita!

  4. will on March 14th, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

    If Bangalore is to truly be a 21st Century City, then it needs a 21st Century gateway to the world. I think that the new airport will satisfy those aims. However, a pragmatic approach must be made to the use of the HAL airport. It’s a lot closer to the centre of town, and its facilities could earn HAL sizeable revenue to tide them over in times of cyclical aerospace spending. It would also prevent people coming in from BIAL after a flight from Delhi or Mumbai thinking that most of their journey was spent on the ground, not in the air.

    Think again, and keep HAL open for domestic flights only.

  5. Visit to Bengaluru International Airport(BIA) | Bangalore Metblogs (pingback) on April 7th, 2008 @ 1:14 am

    […] there have been discussion with respect to updates, connectivity of the airporthere, here and here. On sunday april 6th, the communications team of BIAL had conducted a visit to the airport for […]

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