One among the fastest growing airports in the world, the Bengaluru International Airport has completed 11 years of service. The airport located at Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru city, began operations on May 24, 2008, as Air India’s flight AI 609 from Mumbai landed at the airport.
According to a spokesperson from the airport, it is estimated that 65 million passengers will transit from KIA per annum by 2024-25. "The same number will reach 80-90 million in ten years," the spokesperson adds. A record 33.3 million passengers transited through the airport in 2018-19, indicating a 23.8% growth in the same from that of the previous year.
Interestingly, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), as it is known now, features prominently in the ‘history of firsts’ among other air terminals in India. Bangalore is home to the first airport in India which was constructed through a public-private partnership. Also the first airport in the country to introduce check-in through face recognition technology, this development is expected to be an end-to-end solution for paperless air travel in the country.
As many as 16 fully-automated self bag drop machines were installed in the airport in 2018, making KIA the first in the country to introduce the same in a big number.
The Bengaluru airport hosts a wide variety of flights from and to different parts of the world with the operation of over 37 passenger airlines and 12 cargo airlines.
Recently, KIA also began operations from an exclusive crew-only terminal dedicated for airline staff. This is expected to provide easy access for crew members of different airlines of domestic flights to the airport and is believed to bring down congestion in the main terminal.
Looking forward, the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), the company which operates the airport is set to undertake the construction of the second terminal (Terminal 2), spending around Rs 13,000 crores. The first phase of the project is expected to be complete by March 2021. The first phase of the new terminal, according to BIAL’s vision document, will have a capacity to hold 25 million passengers per annum.
At the same time, the second runway that is scheduled for a launch on October 1, 2019, will have facilities that allow landing even in conditions of zero visibility. According to airport officials, the category III-B Instrument Landing System (ILS) will ensure no flight is delayed due to fog.
The connectivity for the airport to the city is also set to improve as Namma Metro’s airport line is expected to be ready by 2023.
Spread over 4,000 acres in Devanahalli, the 11-year-old Bengaluru International Airport is the third busiest airport in India, only behind Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) and Chhatrapati Sivaji Maharaj International Airport (Mumbai).