BIAL Updates

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Despite major mid term course revisions, BIAL will open for commercial flights on March 30, 2008. Three days before schedule. Now only 15% of the work is pending. The main runway, the taxiway, the terminal building, runway and airfield lighting (signaling), car park are all in advanced stages of completion. Construction reports have now started talking about finishing, works on duty free, arrival and departure areas and landscaping. You can read more here. With work now nearing completion, reports on strategic issues have started coming in. With, Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher intent on using BIAL as a key gateway to the US and Europe, BIAL aspires to emerge as an important air traffic hub. AI wants to start direct BLR-SFO flights and wants to use BIAL as an international hub connecting their key American & European destinations. Ditto Jet, it wants to connect its European hub to Bangalore. Kingfisher wants to use BIAL as its domestic hub and wants dedicated facilities like separate terminal. And pretty soon KF will also be eligible to fly internationally. Connectivity though remains a problem. (I think BIAL should trademark this phrase.) First some positives, the legal battles at trumpet exchange are now over and work is in progress with BIAL confident about completing the work by the time airport opens. DMRC has finally submitted its DPR for the elevated rail connection, and promises to cover the 28 kms between BRV Grounds near M. Chinnaswamy Stadium to the airport in 23 minutes flat. But to get from DPR to actually being able to buy a ticket to BIAL, it will take about 5 years. Unless somebody at the state or the center level really pushes for it, it will take atleast 2 years for this to get clearances from sundry departments like NHAI, IR, MoD, the Union Environment Ministry, BBMP. Then there will be notifications, acquisitions, RFQ, tenders and then add 2-3 years after the construction starts. This apart from the delays involved in going through complicated maze of land acquisition and the associated legal battles. The trumpet interchange has finally freed itself from the litigation on 2 acres, but the expressway itself is stuck in all sorts of legal jams. Meanwhile, farmers notified for land for a Aerospace Park near the Airport have wizened up and are demanding, 3 crores/acre, not a paisa less. So How To Get There? As Silkboard suggested mebbe we ought to para drop folks flying in, but there is a problem with that too. How do you collect the parachutes?