The second runway at Bengaluru Airport becomes operational

NEW DELHI: The second track at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) was commissioned on Friday afternoon. KIA now joins the select club of Indian airports that have more than one runway that can be used simultaneously, with the three-runway Delhi IGI airport as the only other desi airport. Mumbai has two cross tracks that can be used only one at a time.

The second track was commissioned. IndiGo flight 6E-466 (to Hyderabad) was the first flight that took off from the new runway on Friday, said BIAL CEO and CEO Hari K Marar.

Air traffic control, airlines and BIAL have big plans to increase KIA aircraft operations once the new runway is operational. “At some point in March 2020, possibly the first of that month, the old KIA track will be closed for rehabilitation. That process will take at least six months. By October 2020 (beginning of the next winter time), KIA should have both operational tracks simultaneously, ”said an official.

But it will be a while before the airport of the silicon city of India sees a famous sight at the airport of its American counterpart San Francisco (SFO): airplanes that land parallel to each other on the twin runways of the SFO.

“Eventually that will happen. To begin, we have permission for mixed mode operations in which one runway is used to land and another to take off. But our two runways are capable of handling independent and parallel aircraft operations, ”said a senior BIAL official.

Next winter, when both runways in KIA come into operation, Bengaluru will move Mumbai as the second busiest airport in the country in terms of flight handling. With its two crossed runways, Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is handling its maximum capacity of 960 flights per day. In the current winter time, KIA will handle 731 flights per day. Once both tracks in KIA are operational, it will handle more daily flights than CSMIA.

The IGI airport in Delhi, which surpassed Mumbai in 2009 to become the busiest airport in India, will see next summer 1,515 daily flights with its three existing runways. IGIA will have its fourth runway in June 2021, significantly increasing its flight handling capacity.