Kempegowda International Airport is a model airport

Kempegowda International Airport is a model airport

Bengaluru

It will become the first airport in South India to have two independent parallel runways

With air traffic picking up at the Kempegowda International Airport (THAT) over the past few months, the airport is likely to have two functional runways in a couple of days. Flight services to existing routes have resumed and new routes have been introduced in the last few months.

Both the runways at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will be operational from March 25 onwards subject to clearance from the regulatory authorities.

The north runway (or old runway) at the airport had been closed for rehabilitation from June 22, 2020. The rehabilitation work included strengthening and resurfacing of the runway as well as the installation of runway centreline lights.

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the airport operator, has already completed all the refurbishment work and is now awaiting regulatory approvals for commencing operations.

“BIAL has worked closely with all the stakeholders to complete the refurbishment of the North Runway. We are now awaiting regulatory approvals to commence operations,” a BIAL spokesperson said.

Recently the Airports Authority of India had issued an aeronautical information publication supplement (AIP) stating that the north runway will be ready for operations from March 25.

“The purpose of this AIP supplement is to inform the stakeholders (Airlines, ANSP, regulator etc.) about commissioning of north runway 09L/27R post-rehabilitation at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru,” it stated. The AIP mentions that the effective date for the commissioning of the north runway and additional, associated taxiways after rehabilitation and up-gradation work at KIA is March 25.

The north runway was supposed to be closed between March 26 and November 4 last year. However, due to the lockdown, it was postponed. Prior to undertaking the rehabilitation work on the north runway, the plan was to commission a Cat-III AGL system for the runway. However, the airport operators, based on the outcome of stakeholder consultations and considering the drop in traffic due to the pandemic, decided that the north runway will remain CAT I compliant.

With both runways becoming operational, KIA will be the first airport in south India to operate independently parallel runways, enabling aircraft to land or take off simultaneously on both the runways.

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