Congratulations to the entire team at Bengaluru International Airport Limited for achieving 100 days of operations. I also acknowledge the hard work put in the two cargo terminal operators Menzies Aviation-Bobba and Air India-Singapore Airport Terminal Services, and all the other stake-holders at the BIAL airport. Most of the initial teething troubles have been addressed and rectified and the engagement of the management teams with industry is very encouraging and will be reciprocated.
BMTC has put in their wonderful Vayu Vajra service, and both BIAL and Bangaloreans should encourage their efforts with patronage.
There is no doubt that the new airport was desperately required, and it is a welcome addition to Bangalore’s infrastructure.
In the time that BIAL was being constructed i.e. 2005 – 2008, the air traffic in Bangalore grew 255%. No infrastructure project anywhere in the world can plan, let alone cater for, such explosive growth. Despite the slowdown in domestic air travel, international travel is on the upswing with airlines are making a beeline to Bangalore. Kingfisher, which commences its international operations on September 3rd, is only the latest entrant. Jet will commence very soon as well. The future is bright.
BIAL is, and should continue to remain, the primary airport of Bangalore. It is encouraging to hear that BIAL is expanding its capacity to cater for the constant growth.
Brazil is part of the BRIC economic classification along with India, and its major cities like Brasilia and Rio De Janeiro have air traffic patterns very similar to Bangalore. These cities have two airports. A small in-city domestic airport and a large out of town domestic and international airport. Both airports are operating as commercial successes.
In my opinion, it will behove BIAL management to consider extending its partnership with AAI and jointly run the terminal at HAL airport. The existing infrastructure is ready to be put to use, without any wait, and provides a means to bringing back to the skies, passengers lost to trains and buses.