BIA II phase suffers a setback
From B S Arun, DH News Service, New Delhi:
Just as the first phase of the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) was finally declared open after hitting air pocket several times, the proposed second phase has received a blow. The Defence Ministry is opposed to the proposed second runway direction and wants it to be shifted.
As per the Master Plan, approved by several agencies including the ministry, the second runway, part of the second phase, is to come up to the south of the existing one.
The Indian Air Force has raised objections now and wants it to the north or the eastern side of the present one.
At a meeting convened by Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekhar recently to hear the views of the players involved, the Airports Authority of India opined that the second runway would not be of much use because of the present airspace constraints, while the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) and Karnataka government were against changes in the plans.
Deccan Herald has learnt that at the meeting, the IAF raised safety concerns if the second runway goes as planned, as it said the lateral separation between existing runway at the BIA and the nearby Flying Training School at Yelahanka would be only 4.03 nautical mile (1 nm=1.85 km). It was also emphasised that as the helicopter circuit is towards the north of Yelahanka, the distance between helicopter traffic and aircraft on the final approach at the BIA, the first runway as existing would not be more than 2.5 nm.
In the case of the second runway, this distance would reduce to only 1.5 nm, which, it said, was inadequate and may lead to near misses also.
According to the BIAL, the site for the airport was selected by the Ramanathan committee and the no-objection certificate for the second runway, as per the Master Plan, was issued by the Defence Ministry itself in March 2004. Besides, if the second runway has to be shifted, the entire agreement would need a relook and this would not be acceptable to the various partners of the BIAL.
Noting that the growth of traffic has exceeded the forecast made in 2005, the BIAL said in view of this, the airport operator was required to embark on the implementation of the second runway as per the Master Plan.
The BIAL also pointed out that shifting the second runway to the north would have consequences on air traffic operations and on the overall plan. The capacity and efficiency of the airport would be reduced significantly.
Source : The Deccan Herald