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BIAL opening delayed - why announce that now?

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AviationPublic Transport

Yeah, we said so, a month ago (Feb 6), right here, about possible delay around ATC equipment. Newspapers are reporting this morning that BIAL will open 2-4 weeks late due to delay in geting ATC facility ready. The delay is either around installation of equipment or staff-training, depending on which newspaper you trust more (Hindu, Biz-Standard).

Isn't this announcement of delay coming a bit late in the game, we had a trial landing just a week ago? Hope this has nothing to do with HAL vs BIAL debate. But, take this one month of delay due to technical reasons. Then, add a month or so of 'overlap' time - how exactly will they just turn off HAL and switch to BIAL overnight? Government may try to find more grounds for a 'smoother' switch to BIAL. All in all, 2-3 months gained could be precious to get short term BIAL connectivity fixes (magic boxes, upgrade ORR service roads, get BMTC buses) in place, isn't it? Keep reading all the news you can.


Namd0gma1's picture

Vested Interests

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It looks like the forces are in action full time here. The lobby behind the HAL airport continuation seems to be pretty strong. I may sound pretentious but HIAL has never ever seen such comments from the ministry. Is it the congress backing working overtime on such things? Unfortunately, the state cannot put a point across in the current political context. It does not take 33 months for the ministry to notice that there are only 25 ATC's instead of 70 and make this point a show stopper at the nth moment. Not sure where all this is going
santsub's picture

This happens only with Bangalore

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Having born and brought up in the city I can recall so manytimes when Bangalore has to go through this. Thanks to us we elect inefficient leaders to form govts. and take the brunt of delays and losses on many projects. If AAI thought BIAL has only 25 ATCs 2 weeks before the opening of the airport where were they when dates were announced abt an year ago? I guess this is another political drama betn congress and its favourism. To top it all Bangalore always gets un-necessary -ve media attention.

Naik's picture


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Boss please while replying in forums like this keep your political and religious bias at home. Why does the Congress get blamed for everything. What was yedurappa and Kumaraswamy doing for 21 months. Please for the sake of religion dont destroy our country and state.
santsub's picture

U got it wrong

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I was never talking about religion... where did that come from? I mentioned only based on govt supports. I know yedi or kumaraswamy are no good and they are not people whom I even care for. Neways we should not be arguing on this.
kbsyed61's picture

Very Good feedback on actual travel times to BIAL !

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I think instead of debating whether HAL airport should continue or not, why not spend energies exploring different routes that could mitigate the travel blues to the new airport - BIAL.

Below are some of the travel times that were recorded for going upto BIAL from different points in Bangalore. These are what was reported in Online version of "The Hindu" today (March 12, 2008).


From ITPL to Devanahalli

Special Correspondent

The route was not half as bad, but one thinks twice if it is a short-haul flight

Bangalore: It is 9 a.m. at the International Tech Park Limited on a Tuesday morning. The pink tabebuia trees that line the avenues of this sprawling tech campus are in glorious bloom, and relieve the tedium of the morning peak hour traffic. My aim is to get to the Devanahalli International Airport to catch a 12 p.m. flight to Chennai. I must get in by 11 a.m., and have given myself two hours.

Past the glass and chrome façade of the Tata Consultancy Services offices, past the Sai Baba Hospital and we are on the Whitefield Road. It is a fairly clear stretch and we keep an average speed of 40 to 50 km. We make it to the Krishnarajapuram flyover in 20 minutes, a distance of eight kilometres. Here we enter our first traffic hold up — a seven minute standstill at the flyover amid a jam of lorries, buses, cars and autos. Emerging from this, we have a fairly straight run down the Outer Ring Road heading to the Hebbal flyover. At the Hennur junction, 15 km and 40 minutes from our starting point, we take a right.

The Hennur Road is a less frequented but also less busy road than the Outer Ring Road, I have been told, and want to check it out. The road is narrow and of uneven quality — very bad patches where the road is still under construction to silky, just-tarred stretches.

Past the Bible College and Preethi Sadan on the left, and a couple of kilometres on we turn left at the village of Kannur. Through the village of Kogilu, and a few kilometres further we hit the main Hebbal Road, some distance past Yelahanka. We are now 30 km from our starting point.

Six-lane highway

It is a dream run down the six-lane highway to Devanahalli. I arrive at the beginning of the trumpet flyover that will lead to the airport terminal at exactly 10.25 a.m.. My commute of 42 km has taken 1 hr and 25 minutes, we have passed five traffic signals, and here I am, half an hour early for my flight. Not as bad as I thought, but is this really worth the effort for a 40-minute flight to Chennai? The next time I’ll definitely take the train.


Jayanagar to international airport in 64 minutes

S. Rajendran

Bangalore: The road connectivity from Jayanagar to the international airport at Devanahalli is not really bad compared with the road link to the airport from the other parts of Bangalore.

The distance of 34.2 kilometres can be covered in just about an hour — 64 minutes to be precise — during peak hours.


And with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike working on widening and installing underpasses along the international airport corridor, the journey from Jayanagar to the airport should be even faster in the days to come.

Interestingly for this correspondent who personally drove from the Jayanagar fifth block (which is in the core part of Jayanagar) to the airport and back, the return journey was more tedious thanks to the number of arterial roads where one-way movement has been introduced in recent years. The return journey from the airport to Jayanagar is 36.4 km and took nearly 17 minutes more than the journey to the airport.

Best route

With this journey having been undertaken to serve as a guide to air travellers from Jayanagar, the best route is as follows: South end circle, Minerva circle, Town Hall, Cauvery Bhavan, Maharani’s College, KPSC, Basaveshwara circle, High Grounds, BDA junction, Cauvery junction, Mekhri circle underpass, Hebbal flyover, Yelahanka byepass, international airport.

The road intersections vulnerable to motor traffic jams could be ones at Minerva Circle and Town Hall given the assurance extended by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike that the entire stretch from High Grounds to Hebbal flyover would be traffic signal-free very shortly.

Traffic jams

In the normal course, traffic jams build up at Minerva circle whenever a major political programme takes place at Town Hall.

In such an event, air travellers from Jayanagar could take the next parallel road via Kengal Hanumanthaiah Road and Kasturba Road to reach the high Grounds junction.


A very long but NICE route (From INFOSYS, Electronics City)

M. Raghuram

BANGALORE: You have two hours to get to the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli. Consider taking the longer route. This road takes you through some of the best roads, not much of traffic, not definitely the bumper to bumper kind, and only a few signals and road humps. This road is best taken from the Electronics City which approximately takes 2.15 hours and 67 kilometres.

NICE road

This route begins at the ramp leading to the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) just by the side of the ongoing elevated highway project of the National Highways Authority of India. I started at 9.30 in front of Infosys and sped on the beautifully laid NICE road for less than 5 minutes before being forced to take a diversion at Gottigere owing to a land dispute.

The 2.5 km diversion takes 20 minutes to negotiate in first gear.


But then it is back near the Someshwaraswamy temple where I join the NICE road.

The next 17 km is heavenly and I see oncoming vehicles only when I join the Mysore Road at the end of the NICE road. The first signal I encounter now is at Kottigepalya Tumkur Road interchange.

At Tumkur Road, travellers might come across some heavy truck traffic till where the Outer Ring Road branches off into Yeshwanthpur bypass road which joins the Hebbal flyover.

Beware, there is a railway crossing and if you are caught, you may lose a good 10 minutes.

On this stretch also there is heavy truck traffic but at least it moves. But once you branch off in to NH7 underneath the Hebbal flyover, the drive to the airport (up to the ramp of the trumpet interchange) is a matter of 19 km, is done in 20 minutes.

From Electronics City, it was slow going in parts

The cab driver advised us to keep a league time during evening peak hours

Bangalore: Say you are among those travelling from Electronics City to the new international airport at Devanahalli to catch a flight at 12 noon.

Even if you take the route with minimal traffic hold-ups, you will have to leave Electronics City at least two hours before check-in time of 11 a.m.

Though I wanted to start at 9 a.m. from Electronics City, I had starting trouble, and got delayed by half an hour.

The cab driver advised me and my colleague to avoid central areas such like Richmond Road, Mahatma Gandhi Road, St. Mark’s Road. Raj Bhavan Road to save time and stress what with work on the Metro Rail under way here.

As trucks from Hosur towards Outer Ring Road are prohibited from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., it took only 29 minutes for us to reach Silk Board junction, which is about 10 km from the Electronics City entrance. Even so, buses careening crazily, vehicles taking U-turns and work on the elevated expressway marred our progress. Vehicle movement was dead slow between Silk Board and Johnson Market junctions as it was peak hour. It took 22 minutes to cover this five-km stretch.

We entered Campbell Road at Johnson’s Market junction and reached Trinity junction at 10.27 a.m., covering two km in six minutes.

From this point, our progress became brisker as we were moving away from the city during peak hour. From Trinity junction we travelled through Annaswamy Mudaliar Road (along Ulsoor lake) then on St. John’s Road to reach the Outer Ring Road at Hennur Road at 10.47 a.m. via Frazer Town and Lingarajapuram. This stretch of 8 km took 20 minutes.

From Hennur Cross, we travelled 6 km on ORR to reach Hebbal flyover at 11 a.m. and then covered final 21 km in just 20 minutes on NH 7 to reach trumpet intersection at 11.20 a.m. Perhaps we would have reached by 10.50 a.m. if started at 9 a.m. as planned. It was not as bad as we had thought.

A word of caution

Our driver said it would take an additional 15 to 20 minutes to reach Silk Board junction from Electronics City entrance during evening peak hours — 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. – as those employed in Electronics City would be returning towards city centre and others parts in company buses, cabs, and private vehicles.

Taking the longer route from helped (From Banashankari)

Sharath S. Srivatsa — Photo: K. Gopinathan

Brisk pace: Work on the trumpet intersection near Devanahalli in progress.

BANGALORE: Expecting chaotic traffic but curious to explore an alternative route to the Devanahalli, our vehicle speeded on the Banashankari Ring Road near NCERT at 9 a.m. A little longer than the usual route taken through the clogged J.C. Road, the journey through the West of Chord Road, I felt, could be a viable route to passengers from the Bangalore south region.

The route plan was to reach the Mysore Road junction and move towards the BHEL junction before entering the West of Chord Road to reach Yeshwanthpur from where we would move towards the C.V. Raman Avenue, Mekhri Circle and Hebbal Flyover to reach the airport by 11 a.m.

Joining the peak hour traffic on the Ring Road, the vehicle moved past the Mysore Road junction and BHEL junction smoothly before hitting a little crowded West of Chord Road. “Today’s traffic is unusually less at this hour,” remarked driver Raja while crossing the Vijayanagar traffic signal.

Within a few minutes, we were taking a deviation from the Chord Road into the Magadi Road since the road remains closed to facilitate a grade separator work. Once back on the Chord Road, we moved past the junctions at Shivanahalli and Mahalaxmi Layout on a relatively open road till Yeshwanthpura Circle. The movement slowed down a bit from Yeshwanthpur as we passed through the C.V. Raman Avenue to enter the National Highway 7 at Mekhri Circle, and remained the same till Hebbal Flyover.

It was 10.25 a.m. when the vehicle reached the Trumpet Interchange on NH 7, an hour and 25 minutes after we left Banashankari and travelled a distance of 41 km.

Possible hold up areas

While we did not face traffic snarls en route on the busy Tuesday morning, enquiries with fellow drivers taking the route revealed potential traffic hold ups in a few major junctions that we passed by. Mysore Road junction and BHEL Junction on Mysore Road could emerge as traffic bottlenecks sometimes and the traffic is slow, especially in the evening.

The grade separator work on West of Chord Road at Rajajinagar and the flyover work at Yeshwanthpur Circle may cause significant problems for the movement of traffic during peak hours which the passengers have to be cautious about.

Grade separator work on West of Chord Road may cause traffic snarls


hmajay's picture

Is the Grade Separator at

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Is the Grade Separator at Chord Road and Magadi Road junction nearing completion?

Does any one has any updates on this work?


tsubba's picture


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ajay, head read some updates some days ago. cant recollect now. syed awesome updates. do you mind if I start a new thread called roads to bial? i was working on a map of bottlenecks to bellary road. will try to map out some of the roads in your post.
tsubba's picture


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sri is on the ball on this one. the real issue with the delay is on what it says about the way things work. the delay itself is inconsequential and would matter to only those who are in a freudian freak show. 1 year from now on nobody will remember that the airport opened late. the first hints of a problem started with yuvaraj's posts. he first raised the flag that there was something wrong. BIAl was not taking parallel transfers-A HAL ATC would have to start as a newbie at BIAL. even if you consider retraining on the new equipment at BIAL, asking a well trained person to start afresh is downright outrageous. yuvaraj also hinted that Brunner was not in the know. a serious pointer to organizational issue. Then there is santsub and syed's posts that talk off shenanigans of the AAI. Syed posts a factual statement, santsub an opininated one. it is very very curious for an airport to overlook a fundamental issue like navgation. they have windows but aircrafts are literally blind without ATC. even if it is AAI it is outrageous that BIAL let things comes to pass like this. BIAL announced that it would open the airport on mach 30 more a while aho. it is highly suspicious that AAI sat on that all the while only now to disclose that the ATCs are in still in training in Hyderabad. very very suspicious.
blrsri's picture

early for actuals ?

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The times clocked are re-assuring..probably the earlier recordings by press of hopeless delays were more biased with keeping open the HAL apt!

But we need to be aware thats these numbers are without any airport traffic..what will the number be when the airport staff start to work or say a rich blokes mom in law staying at the likes of purvankaras around devanahalli wants to shop on comms st!

NH7 does not just need lanes but proper exit and entry ramps at all junctions for maintaining smooth traffic..for example how will the traffic enter onto NH7 from Sahakarnagar? Signals on the road?

yuvaraj65's picture

retaining hal airport

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Mr. subba and  all other thanks for the lively discussion. There are some interesting things In would like to share with you,

First, as per IATA standards the maximum permissible movements are 550 movements per day with single runway operation. An airport gets saturated when the Air Traffic reaches 550 movements per day with a single runway operation and doubled to 1100 movements with two parallel runways and used simultaneously.

BIAL has already approved 448 movements for the summer schedule and may touch 550 movements for the next winter schedule in 2008, that means they would reach saturation during 2008-09. With Ministry of defence yet to give clearance for the second runway,it is still doubful when it will be cleared. Assuming it is cleared and work starts six months from now, it will probably be ready by end of 2011. That means BIAL may not allow any growth in Air Traffic and cap the movements at 550 perday till the second runway is operational. This not good for aviation. And also please note that the second runway will be much more closer to Yelahanka Runway than the existing one at BIAL.

I have worked some interesting scenarios.

With only BIAL operating and HAL airport closed:

 Assuming only BIAL is operational and a conservative Traffic growth of 15% p.a, BIAL with one runway will saturate in 2008-09.

With second runway, assuming will be operational by 2011 end even this will be saturated by 2014, by which time we require another airport for the city.

Second scenario, With both HAL and BIAL operating.

In this case I have taken all the ATR prop aircraft operating from HAL. International and turbojet aircraft operating from BIAL.

with 15% traffic growth, Both the airports will saturate by 2017.

That is just nine years from now, our planners for the city must start planning and acquire land for the third airport, other wise the air traffic to Bangalore will be stunted at 2017, with both BIAL and HAL saturated. They should start acquiring land from today somewhere around Bidadi which would be ideal.

All the talk of closing HAL airport and the public supporting to retain the HAL airport would hopefully have some fodder for thought with the above facts, which are very very real.

We require a Third Airport by 2017, just 9 years from now!!!!!!!

navshot's picture


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I'm a novice, and confess haven't been following this one much. But why not add more runways to the existing airport? That's what is done world over - some of the busiest airports have 4-5 runways. What are the constraints here? Space or proximity of another runway or what? Why should we have multiple airports? Common sense tells me its more efficient to have a single airport (if we're talking only about volume of air traffic). Remember, I'm not debating short term solution of HAL airport here, thinking long term.

-- navshot
silkboard's picture

nice comments

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Nice fact based insight here Yvaraj. Only thing I will add here is, why not think beyond HAL and about a good second airport? Why not a new international airport at another satellite location down south or west? If we anyway have to go back and negotiate on 155 km agreement and similar with BIAL, why do that for a small makeshift airport like HAL? Just because it is closer to CBD? A new airport on the periphery will help de-congest and spread the city, and make us solve our transportation woes.

I like the "ATR prop only at HAL" idea. With time, these new airports (GMR-Delhi, GVK-Mumbai, HIAL, BIAL etc) may not like short haul small planes as they bring less revenues (lower landing fee, less passengers) but use similar resources (time, space, and people) for them to manage.

blrsri's picture

Low cost flights to use A380?

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Had read earlier that KF airlines was ordering A380's so that it can transport more number of people to various high traffic destinations at lower costs using this super jet...

BIA should be geared for handling the A380 but not HAL , though they say A380 just needs as much runway as a 747(which already lands at HAL).

Still the idea of ATR's using HAL is a good one..but the agreements with BIAL will not let this happen!

yuvaraj65's picture

retaining HAL airport/delay in ATC

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Thanks silk board, regarding your suggestion that  to look for second airport apart from HAL is okay but why ignore an airport that has handled 10.3 million passengers during 2007. more over, HAL was not a make shift airport, it had always been the only airport for Bangalore. It has been a catalyst in Aviation growth in Bangalore. So, far HAL has never capped growth but always accommodated the increase. It is to be complimented that HAL is handing over on a platter 10.3 million passengers to another airport.

I think it is to our advantage to have an airport closer to CBD for low cost carriers.

BIAL would actually benefit from ATR aircraft operating from HAL as the bring in  less revenue vis a vis passengers and less landing charges, but occupy the same space in the air and contribute to increased traffic congestion and quicker saturation.

With ATR's operating out of HAL, BIAL could accomodate the bigger aircraft which bring in more passengers and not contribute to congestion.

regarding Navshots's question; it is always not advisable not to have too many runways at the same airport. They again contribute to more delays and complex situations in ATC. Any way BIAL can build only two runways and HAL cannot build a second runway for lack of space.

It is prudent to spread the traffic to different geographical locations and contribute to the economic growth of these regions. that is why a third airport is required.

It may be surprising to many, but even with BIAL and HAL Airports operating we at Bangalore very soon require a third airport by 2016. Even, these conclusions were based on a conservative growth of 15% per annum, which is way below the actual growth Bangalore has had in the last four years, that is 30%. You can imagine what is the scene if the Air Traffic grows at 25%, we need a third airport in 2014.

I hope our planners (If there are any) wake to this and think!!!!!!!!

kbsyed61's picture

It is bit POLITICS also................

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The reported delay attributed to ATC not being fully ready is pure politics and strong arm atctics of ATC staff who do not want to move to the new airport (BIAL). Don't believe it........Then read this from news item appeared in DNA India.......

DNA India Reports.........Various sources have been expressing doubts over the preparedness of the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at the new airport, saying that the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which handles the ATC at Indian commercial airports, would need more time for commissioning it.

However, SpiceJet Ltd executive VP, flight operation, J S Dhillon said that generally 15 days were enough for the calibration of ATC equipment at any new airport.

“Generally, it does not take more than 2-3 weeks for the calibration of equipments installed at the ATC. In my view, it (postponement) has nothing to do with the readiness of the ATC but the reluctance of the airport staff to move to the new airport, which is very far from the city,” said Dhillon.

Corroborating his view, a GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) spokesperson said that the ATC at the new Hyderabad airport- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport - was ready in about three weeks of the handover of the ATC tower to the AAI.

“AAI took over the tower in the third week of February. They purchased all the equipments and recruited manpower at the ATC,” said a GHIAL spokesperson.

Namd0gma1's picture

Whats this??

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I happened to stumble on this piece in Deccan Herald

"March 30 deadline stays: BIAL

*Brushing aside reports on postponement of airport’s opening date, BIAL CEO Albert Brunner said that the airport will begin operations on March 30."

Without the DGCA and the ministry issuing the commissioning order, how will Brunner manage to meet the date set all this while? Dunno if its  just another move  to get the publics focus away from the issue.

tsubba's picture

BIAL's second runway problem

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this is absolutely absurd. if i am not wrong, the basic layout of BIAL's master plan has been the same ever since it started construction. at that time BIAL could not have started construction without clearences from sundry agencies including MoD. I was going through BBMP website, even stupid highrise apartment buildings need clearences and approvals from all and sundry, fire, airports, defence... Why are they raising objections now when the phase 1 is almost done and the airport on the verge of inauguration? This talk of ATC dominion is also on similar lines. The site at devanhalli would have been marked even before they signed the document on BIAL. they couldn't figure out that there would be clashes? how did they approve the project without checking for all these things?
tsubba's picture

runway cap

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yuvaraj, IATA's 550 movements per day is immensely interesting. please help us understand that number. #1. does 440 at HAL include defence related movements? #2. what are the constraints? 550 movements is > 2 minutes per movement. i would imagine navigation controls aka ATC & physical aspects of the runway are the primary constraints. towards this, what does bial's rapid exit taxiway amount to? and what do you make of the new WAAS type navigation system that India is about to implement(GAGAN), with bases in bangalore? with that restriction, how is it that mumbai and delhi are handling the capacity that they are? #3. how do flight movements translate to passenger count. how is that both bial and hial are claiming a max capacity of > 40 mil pax/year for their master plans? is this based on the IATA 550/day limit?
yuvaraj65's picture

runway capacity

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thanks Mr subba and silk board.

1)the 440 movements at HAL, I suppose also includes the test flying military and HAL aircraft, thats why they have almost reached saturation.

2)The movement in an Airport are not spread evenly throughout the day/night. Typical  peak Movements are between 0600hrs - 1100hrs and 1500hrs - midnight. To incrase your capacity per hour, for e.g. 30 movements per hour., with only one runway, the airport should have rapid exit taxiways (The landed aircraft can vacate the runway quickly, to either accomodate a departure or the next landing), really good and expert Air Traffic controllers (Good equipment and radars and procedures alone will not increase the capacity).

The WAAS is basically to be used for navigation to airfields not equipped with navigational aids to guide aircraft and to make an approach for that runway, but will not be useful in airport that are equipped with VOR and ILS and Rdars and ATC.

Mumbai is almost saturating with 720 movement per day. They have 2 runways that are not parallel, but converging, so simultaneous operations cannot be carried out. They handle 550 movements on the Main runway (saturated), and use the secondary runway with restrictions, mainly for departures, about 170 movements. That is the reason a new airport is sanctioned for MUmbai in Navi Mumbai, Vashi.

More Air Traffic always does not count as more passengers. For instance 10 ATR's operating will max carry only 650 passengers, but, at the same time 10 boeing 737 or a A320 will carry a max of 1600 passengers, so there you are!!

Thats the reason why in some airports the traffic reaches saturation quicker than the passenger traffic. This is what will happen at BIAL.

I also doubt, with the inexperienced  Air Traffic Controllers posted in BIAL, the required movements per hour will be acheived. Probably the airport will saturate by the end of 2008/09 itself.

With the constraints in the airspace there is bound to be more delays for landing at BIAL.

The time is not far off when the Airlines and the public alike are going to raise a hue and cry about these delays.

AAI probably is not a position to bring in experienced controllers, because they are required in Mumbai and Delhi ATC, and will not be able to release them to BIAL.

blrsri's picture

Add a runway?

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Would it be easier if a runway is added earlier, say in 2009? Wonder if terminal construction can be taken up right next to a active run way!

The other thing that keeps coming back is an obervation done in frankfurt..I have spent hours infront of the nose of a 747, which was being prepared for a transatlantic flight. The aircraft is parked there for more than 3 hours some time and was wondering if BIA can support something like that! Do we have enough bays for parking like that?

idontspam's picture


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Take over the HAL airport and get the runway free right away!
blrsri's picture

aint so simple!

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As we have been discussing HAL is a public sector/defence airport. There are a number of fighter aircrafts which come there for maintenance..infact the LCA has done test flights from there!

They couldnt spare their ATC staff itself..cos they are on active duty otherwise!

Best suggest lets leave HAL for good!

Instead ask L&T to lay a new runway at BIA and they will do that gladly and really fast!

cyber's picture

50 million passengers per year

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Hi guyz, my first post here.


I dont understand the need for another airport when this can handle 50 million passengers when fully expanded. Even with 1000 allowed flight movements (two runways) and considering airlines will upgrade to higher capacity aircrafts to handle more pax per movement, this airport seems more than sufficient. Since now we dont have the defence aircraft movements counted here.

I hope some one here can throw some light on this. and also 1000 movements could be enough to serve 100 destinations per day. (Considering one movement each for landing and takeoff - 1000/2 = 500 landing-takeoffs and considering many destinations are served more than once daily, on an average we can still think of 100-150 destinations per day.).

santsub's picture

You are right!

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With current growth rate BIAL will saturate in the nest 5 years. But what I dont understand is why didnt they plan a bigger airport - BIAL should have been bigger to expand to a 100m passerngers - that would have solved the 3rd airport problem. But as Yuvraj said a 3rd airport is definitely needed or the current airport can be extended to the other side of the expressway with an overbridge for aircrafts to move from the new terminals to the existing ones.

An example of that is how Atlanta airport expanded and built the 5th runway on the 285 belt and plans to build new terminals and a new control tower. I guess BIAL can follow suit in future when we need to expand.

I am including the link

s_yajaman's picture

PIB release says after May 10

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Please check this link

  Printer friendly page With Banner | Without Banner
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Ministry of Civil Aviation

16:42 IST
The Government has asked the Bangalore International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (BIAL) to consider a suitable date after 10th May, 2008 for the opening of new airport at Devanahalli, Bangalore.

It will be recalled that the anticipated date for the opening of the airport was 30th March, 2008. However, because ATC services will not be available by 30th March, 2008, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has regretted its inability to accept that date for the opening of the airport. Given the status of the availability of ATC services, the Ministry has directed BIAL to consider a suitable date after 10th May, 2008 for the airport opening.

Earlier, the Ministry had intimated the anticipated date for opening of 30 March, 2008 to the various Central Government Agencies which are responsible for the performance of Reserved Activities at the airports. While all agencies had confirmed their readiness, the AAI had reservation about the availability of ATC by 30th March, 2008. Delays in the construction of ATC facilities including the Control Tower, Technical Block, office accommodation of AAI personnel and issues like electricity supply, house-keeping, air-conditioning at the ATC facilities were the reasons for this delay.

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Namd0gma1's picture

Dal mein Kaala

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Well, what can i say? Its getting too very obvious out there. That, not enough ATC's found out just 2 weeks before commissioning, 2nd Runway approval from IAF not going through again at the nth moment, It can't get more murkier than this.

There is a silver bullet for all this: Get the Congress govt in power and you will see things begin to work like a charm. Central Cong Govt + State Cong govt [you know what i am referring to??? ;-)]= all decks cleared. What say??

navshot's picture

Runway cap??

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I was just browsing around and it seems London Heathrow airport handles 67 million passengers and has only 2 runways!! It seems currently there are 480,000 movements per year which is much higher than 550/runway/day limit. How's that?

Is something wrong? Is 550/runway limit a rule or a guideline? Why can't BIA handle this kind of traffic with 2 runways? Why do we need more airports?


-- navshot
yuvaraj65's picture

runway capacity

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tks navshot,

480000 movements per years translates to 1300 movements per day. Heathrow operates two main runways that takes 1100 movements and a third cross runway with restrictions takes 200 movements.

there you are the runway capacity!!!!!

They are planning a third main runway to add capacity, which is facing land acquisition problems and opposition from the people around the airport.


kbsyed61's picture

BIAL is not alone in delayed start, GHIAL alsodelayed for compan

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If you are upset for delay in March 30th start for BIAL, you have a consolation. GHIAL is also delayed for various reasons. Mind it, this is the first greenfield experiment. Bear with the initial starting problems. Below is an editorial from "Deccan Chronicle" about the delay in GHIAL start.

Courtsey, Deccan Chronicle / March 17, 2008

Airport blues

Uncertainty prevails over when exactly the new Hyderabad international airport will commence operations. No sooner did the UPA chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, inaugurate the swanky airport named after her late husband and former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, than the dampener came: the airport’s commercial operation from March 16 was put off by the civil aviation ministry after some airlines approached it seeking more time to shift to the new facility. Controversies have preceded and followed the new airport’s formal inauguration. The Telugu Desam raised a hue and cry against naming it after Rajiv Gandhi. The union government placated Airports Authority of India employees after they resorted to a non-cooperation movement to protest against the closure of existing airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore. The civil aviation minister, Mr Praful Patel, assured the unions that no airport would be closed without consulting them and that the Begumpet airport would remain open for “general aviation” or non-scheduled operations of chartered planes. Consumer rights activists, too, knocked the doors of the Andhra Pradesh High Court by filing Public Interest Litigations against the closure of the Begumpet airport.

The court admitted the petitions but did not pass any interim orders against the closure. Regular air travellers have been a worried lot, since road connectivity remains a big issue. Work on the construction of P.V. Narasimha Rao Elevated Expressway and Outer Ring Road Phase-I and widening of Inner Ring Road, National Highway 7 and Srisailam state highway is yet to be completed. The Begumpet airport is centrally located and easily accessible, despite chaotic traffic on city roads. The Shamshabad airport is 35 km away from the existing airport and it takes two hours to reach there. Cab charges are prohibitive. Passengers taking international flights will have to shell out $25 whereas domestic departing passengers have been spared from user development fees for the time being. A stand-off between low-cost airlines and GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) promoters has held up commencement of operations. Low-cost airlines flying to metros and Tier-2 cities are reluctant to cough up ground handling charges demanded by two agencies retained by GHIAL. They are exerting pressure on civil aviation ministry to keep the Begumpet airport open for commercial traffic. Both the government and promoters erred by not sorting out all the ticklish issues and problems before scheduling the inauguration.

navshot's picture

Re: runway capacity

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That's not the latest looks like. If we are to believe Wikipedia, Heathrow has only two parallel runways. The third smaller one was decommissioned in 2005. Exact text is copy-pasted here:

"Originally, Heathrow had six runways, arranged in three pairs at different angles, with the passenger terminal in the centre. With growth in the required length for runways, Heathrow now has just two parallel runways running east-west. Runway 23, a short runway for use in strong south-westerly winds, was decommissioned in 2005 and now forms part of a taxiway."


-- navshot
tsubba's picture

runway cap

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awesome discussion folks. keep at it. i too saw that mum was doing 180000 movements in about a year for its capacity.
tsubba's picture

lots of pics

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tsubba's picture

Inside the H'bad story

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New Hyderabad international airport: The inaugural & after
Ashwini Phadnis, The Hindu

Suspense continues behind the sudden decision of the Government not to operationalise the new Hyderabad airport despite its inauguration by the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, on March 14.

While there is no official word on the reasons for the delay, sources suggest that it was mainly on account of the protest from airline operators against the high user charges that the promoters of the new airport are demanding in the form of ground handling charges.

The Drama
There was a bit of drama behind the inauguration on March 14. Ms Sonia Gandhi is understood to have conveyed to the Civil Aviation Ministry a day before the event that she would not inaugurate the airport if the strike by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees continued. Immediately, the Ministry got into the act and organised a hurried meeting between the Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel, and the union representatives where the Government promised to reconsider closing the old airport. With the strike off, grounds were cleared for the inauguration the next day.

There was another reason to complete the formal inauguration on March 14. Three years ago on March 16, 2005, Ms Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the new airport and the Government was keen to go ahead with its inauguration to showcase a major infrastructure facility had been created in record 36 months. Apparently, the benchmark is the new Beijing airport, constructed ahead of the Olympics games there this year, that took 37 months to come up.

Inauguration over, the Government restrained the promoters from operationalising the new airport from March 16. Among other things, this ensured that there was no confrontation with the Left parties during the on-going Parliament session.

Aviation industry sources say the Government could utilise the delay to “convince” the promoters to take a re-look at the charges, apart from making a case against two airports in the city on the grounds of economic viability. “The new airport would begin operations sooner than later. If the Government can beat down the charges, it could then tell the Left parties that it had not allowed a private sector monopoly to have its way,” sources in the know said.
ee desha uddaara aadahange
tsubba's picture

on the bursting aviation scene in india

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Excerpts from A. Ranganathan's article in the hindu businesline-(The number game in aviation)
amongst other things talks about BIAL, HIAL and runway capacities.

Manipulating numbers does not propagate a safety culture in aviation. We need a strong head to run the regulators. The next two years will determine which way aviation is headed — towards safety or disaster. In 2007, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced the projected growth rate of Indian aviation. Based on the current rate of 25 per cent growth, it estimated that the number of passengers flying each year will be 400 million by the year 2020! To cater to this astronomical growth projection, it has announced several proposals for infrastructure plans.

On the Airlines
To cater to these ‘dream’ manipulated figures, the several new airlines have been announcing grandiose plans on aircraft acquisition and connectivity across the country at throwaway prices. In less than five years, all these plans and numbers seem to be crashing down from cloud nine. Today, all the airline shares are trading in the market at less than half of what they were at the beginning of the year. They are not likely to improve in the near future. The reason is simple. Indian aviation is like a rudderless ship. It is drifting aimlessly because it is being run by people who are good at manipulating numbers.

The number game in airline planning is also likely to take a big hit. Oil prices have gone through the roof to $110 a barrel. More than half the airline budget is the cost of fuel and pilots. Today, Indian companies are able to attract foreign pilots only because they pay high salaries and licensing has been made simpler for them than for Indians. Banks have already warned the airlines of credit squeeze from next year if they do not turn the reds into black. This is not likely to happen in the near future. In the recent interview to the Air Transport World, the Boeing representative had expressed concern about the survivability of several airlines in India.

Poor infrastructure
Five years back, greenfield airports with private participation were announced for Bangalore and Hyderabad. Global tenders were floated and the grand scheme began. Everyone — government, industry, politicians, workers unions, etc. — knew that when the new airports built at a cost of several crores are ready, the current ones at HAL and Begumpet would be shut for commercial operation. Infrastructure to connect to the new airports was to be ready in time.

Today, the same people are clamouring for the old airports to continue and the infrastructure to connect to the new airports is nowhere near ready.

In five years, we have not been able to deliver mainly because of political manipulation and inefficient administration.

Hundreds of crores of rupees of taxpayers’ money are going down the drain because of this inefficiency. Projects are planned and executed more to fill the pockets of vested interests. This is true when one looks at the operational efficiency of the airports. Take the figures given out by the Ministry on the main airports.

We talk of 35 movements (take offs and landings) in an hour and why new runways have to be built to increase the capacity to 50 by the year 2015. Hundreds of people have been displaced for these ‘white elephant’ projects.

London’s Gatwick airport operates to a capacity of over 80 movements per hour with a single runway. In 2007, the airport recorded a total of 2,66,550 air traffic movements and 35 million passengers. Here, we want so many additional runways for just 50 movements a day!

Future of aviation
Our runways do not have correct equipment for friction testing. The monsoons are a mere two months away but we are oblivious to the threat. The year 2007 saw more than nine over-runs on wet runways. We were fortunate that none of them were fatal. We may not be so lucky in 2008. Is anyone accountable for these lapses?

We need a strong and straightforward head to run the regulators. Unfortunately, political patronage decides on who will run such an important agency. The next two years will determine which way Indian aviation is heading — towards safety or disaster.

We cannot progress by taking backward steps. You need to look ten years ahead with the correct perspective. Manipulating numbers does not propagate a safety culture in aviation.

yuvaraj65's picture

hi Ts and everybody else, I

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hi Ts and everybody else,

I also read the article in Hindu businessline. With due respect to capt.Ranganathan, 80 movements  per hour in Gatwick is impossible. The maximum they are planning to cap is between 42 to 48 movements per hour. I am a little puzzled where capt. ranganathan got this figure.

This 42-48 movement is mixed movements, i.e., dep/arrivals on the same runway.

This capacity is possible because the longitudinal separation has been reduced to 3miles on final approach in some European countries and USA.

whereas, in India it is 5 to 7 miles between arrivals.

DGCA and AAI have not yet agreed to reduce the separation between aircraft to less than 5 miles.

The ATC is europe is more organised and professionaly planned. To reach those levels we have a long way to go.

 I am eagerly waiting for 0000hrs 11 may................... 2008???!!!! or ......... comment guidelines

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