August 10, 2022
The Fast-growing Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru
Airports Interview

The Fast-growing Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru

DALLAS – Fast becoming the world’s fastest-growing airport, India’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in Bangalore is witnessing tremendous passenger movement, surpassing the 250 million mark since its opening.

What’s more, the opening of the much-awaited Terminal 2 is just a couple of months away. On discussing with a BIAL spokesperson, we’ve covered an insight into the growth ahead for BLR. 

Airways got the chance to talk to a representative from BLR to discuss the airport’s growth and the launch of the new terminal, among other topics.

SG: BLR just hit 250 million-how do you see this number growing in the near future? Perhaps it’s safe to say BLR is India’s fastest-growing airport, or, for that matter, in South Asia, too.
BLR: BLR Airport has crossed the 250-million passenger mark since its launch operations in 2008. We have handled 2 million Air Traffic Movements (ATM) making us the fastest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) airport in South India to achieve this milestone. BLR airport is also trending between 65 and 70% in handling international passenger traffic.

A key aspect that has led to the growth in passenger traffic has been enhanced connectivity among domestic as well as international destinations. The introduction of new carriers is coupled with the introduction of newer routes at BLR Airport. With the occurrence of the pandemic, the traffic growth over the past two years has been slower than usual. However, BLR Airport has historically grown significantly amidst adversity.

BLR Airport aspires to reach 25 million passenger movements through Terminal 2 (in the initial phase) and 36 million movements through Terminal 1. Thus, BLR Airport is estimated to handle 60 million passengers in the next few years based on growing demand and other factors. We are anticipating handling 85 to 100 million passengers by the early 2030s.

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Image: BLR Airport

Terminal 2’s opening is right around the corner, how many passengers and aircraft movements can it cater to under its initial phase?

Prior to Covid-19, BLR Airport had a passenger handling capacity of about 36 million in Terminal 1. As aforementioned, with Terminal 2, we aspire to cater to 25 million passengers when phase one is completed. An additional 20 million passengers per annum can travel when phase two is completed.

Terminal 1 was initially built to handle 20 million passengers per annum (MPPA), and it is now capable of handling 36 MPPA and 90 air transport movements (ATMs) per hour. The growth can be credited to technology innovations deployed at the airport like Digi Yatra, Smart Security System, and Contactless Self-Baggage Drop.

Would both domestic and international operations commence from T2 upon opening? If so, which airlines would be the first to make their move to T2?

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Featured image: BLR Airport

EASA commercial pilot | Flight Instructor | Aviation Journalist & writer based in Germany.

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