Squall around Bangalore airport causes extensive damage in area

The heat had been building up in Bangalore for quite a few days, and yesterday, nature unleashed all that pent-up energy in a brief but highly intense storm of destruction in the area around the Bengaluru International airport.

Eager to make a buck, and thanks to lax laws and poor enforcement, scores of hoardings (billboards) of dubious quality have been erected by private advertisers on the roads leading up to the airport.

Click on images for a larger view. All images are my copyright.

The strong winds tore apart the billboards with their steel and aluminium sheets flying across the trumpet overpass at the entrance to the airport BIA_Squall_Hoarding_Debris_Trumpet_Overpass BIA_Squall_Damaged_Billboards_Airport_Exit About a kilometre away from the airport entrance this giant billboard crashed causing destruction in the neighborhood
The storm has literally shattered the myth of these hoardings, many of whom are badly damaged and shattered. About a kilometre away from the airport entrance, a giant hoarding was torn off its obviously weak supports and crashed down on houses.

The hoarding right at the top of the trumpet interchange is of great concern. Its panels were strewn all across the road of the trumpet. God forbid should it come crashing down. Traffic to the airport will be severely impacted. All the hoardings are outside the airport property and the onus is on the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to take immediate action to prevent a future calamity.

The storm was building-up all afternoon. At 15:56 local (10:26 GMT), an Air India A320 registration VT-ESJ performing flight IC966 from Male, Maldives to Bangalore, India, on final approach to runway 27 was forced to perform a “go-around” due to the intensity of building storm.

15 minutes later the storm struck with full intensity. Wind gust speeds would have crossed 30 knots (60 km/h) and runway visibility fell below 1,000 meters. Kingfisher Airline’s flight IT2432 from Hubli to Bangalore was forced to abandon it’s approach and hover over Bengaluru International Airport for about 10 minutes.

My car was blown all over the highway, and even buses and heavy vehicles decided to seek shelter from the storm. As quickly as the storm started, it stopped. Within 15 minutes runway visibility improved, the winds died down, and operations at the airport re-commenced.

But I am sure people in the area will remember these 15 minutes for a long long time.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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