Bengaluru International Airport takes wings
The swanky Bengaluru International Airport was thrown open on Friday night, with the first flight taking off to Singapore.
Indian Airlines flight IC609 from Mumbai, carrying 110 passengers and crew, touched the runway at 10:40 pm last night. The same aircraft took off as IC 957 to Singapore.
The state-of-the-art airport, which saw its launch date being deferred three times, can handle over 12 million passengers annually.
It was a no-frill opening as the model code of conduct is in force for the just-concluded Karnataka Assembly elections.
"We will have celebrations (in a grand ceremony) next month", an official of Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) said. Private promoters hold a 74 per cent stake in BIAL while the State holds the remaining 26 per cent.
The shareholders are: Siemens Project Ventures GmbH (40 per cent), Larsen & Toubro Limited (17 per cent), Unique Zurich Airport (17 per cent), Government of Karnataka (13 per cent) and Government of India (13 per cent).
The existing airport, run by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, was closed down with the commissioning of BIA, spread over 4000 acres.
The terminal building of BIA is spread over 71,000 sq mts and built to accommodate 2733 passengers at peak hour. The airport is equipped with 53 common use counters and 18 self check-in counters.
The first phase of the airport has been built with an investment of Rs 2,470 crore.
BIAL officials said the new airport can handle up to 720 aircraft movements a day (30 an hour in peak hour).
The greenfield airport is situated at Devanhalli, about 40 kms from Bangalore.