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Bengaluru, Hyderabad airport cities are ready to take wing

Last updated on: September 3, 2010 11:52 IST

Bengaluru, Hyderabad airport cities are ready to take wing

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Raghuvir Badrinath in Bengaluru/Hyderabad

It's been a little over two years now that the back-to-back opening of steel-and-glass Bangalore International Airport and Hyderabad International Airport revolutionised the gateways to a modern India.

Today, both are poised for major expansion.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited plans to develop an aerotropolis on 1,000 acres, which will promote education, healthcare, entertainment,  hospitality, commercial and logistics ports around the airport.

Bangalore International Airport Limited will take up expansion of Terminal-1 at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) to raise capacity to 17 million passengers a year in the next 18 months, says Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Expansion of T2, which is planned from 2014, will eventually take capacity up to 25 million.

The current capacity is 10.6 million.
 
BANGALORE AIRPORT
  2008-09 2009-10
Passengers  8.7 million 9.92 million
Cargo  155,000 tonnes 171,000 tonnes
Take-offs and landings 290 305
Number of airlines 22 32
HYDERABAD AIRPORT
Cargo  56,730 tonnes 66,480 tonnes
Passengers
Domestic 4.67 million 4.81 million
International 1.51 million 1.69 million
Take-offs and landings
Domestic 67,988 66,967
International 11,983 13,573

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Image: Bengaluru International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy, BIAL
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The Karnataka government earlier announced that work on the expansion of the existing Terminal 1 would begin in September.

When complete, Terminal 1 will be expanded by 70 per cent of the existing building, with an additional passenger space of 40,000 square metres. This will take the terminal capacity to 17 million passengers a year, sufficient until 2015.

The total annual traffic as on March 2010 stood at 9.92 million passengers, marking annual international traffic growth at 18 per cent, and domestic traffic growth at 13 per cent. It achieved an overall growth of 14 per cent over 2008-2009.

Additionally, "The airport created a record of handling the highest number of passengers -- 37,015 -- on a single day on May 21, 2010," said BIAL officials.

The airport has a cargo handling capacity of 350,000 tonnes. For 2009-2010, it handled approximately 171,000 tonnes of cargo (all cargo concessionaires together).

Cargo also showed an upswing over last year, with a growth rate of 1.8 per cent in June to 33 per cent in December compared with the corresponding months of the previous year.

This resulted in a cumulative annual growth of 9.57 per cent for 2008-2009, deemed the highest cargo figures at the airport since its opening.

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Image: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
Photographs: Courtesy, RGIA website.
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BIAL is also preparing a real estate development plan to raise non-aeronautical revenues. Initially, it plans an aerotropolis, or an airport city.

The deal with the L&T-Oberoi consortium is at Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) an acre for a four-acre hotel property on airport land. There are around 515 acres available.

In Hyderabad, as part of its development of an airport city, GHIAL has finalised an agreement with the Apollo Group to set up a hospital, mainly to cater to foreigners.

Apollo Group chairman Pratap C Reddy recently confirmed the move.

There will also be overseas partners in the project.

GHIAL is also working with international players to form joint venture partnerships to create business assets on the proposed 1,000 acres.

There are plans to develop an aviation special economic zone spread over 250 acres and a multi-product SEZ on another 250 acres, said a GHIAL official requesting anonymity.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, which began operations in March 2008, saw a 5 per cent growth in overall passenger traffic in 2009-10. In two years, the airport has handled 6.4 million passengers.

Cargo handling in 2009-10 touched 65,727 tonnes, 14.8 per cent more than last year.

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Image: Bangalore International Airport.
Photographs: BIAL
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It has the capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year and in the final phase will handle 40 million passengers and 1 million tonnes of cargo.

In February, GMR Aviation Academy, in collaboration with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Aviation Training Services, started flight operations management training courses at its academy at the airport.

Meanwhile, the airport has initiated a few joint venture projects in its vicinity. A 50-50 joint venture in February 2010 with Malaysian Airlines for a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility will begin its first phase of operations later next year.

In March, CFM International, the world's leading aircraft engine manufacturer, inaugurated its engine maintenance training centre at the Hyderabad Airport Aerospace Park.

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Image: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport .
Photographs: Courtesy: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport
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National Aviation Company of India Ltd, which owns Air India, is setting up its airframe MRO facility on 5 acres of RGIA land, which can accommodate two Airbus A320 family aircraft or one Boeing 777 or 747.

GHIAL also proposes to build a perishable cargo complex to handle 13,000 tonnes a year in 2011.

This will boost horticulture in the state. 

In all, the airport will handle 150,000 tonnes of cargo annually and have a 1.3-million tonnes a year capacity.

Revenues from non-aero operations for RGIA were about 40 per cent of total revenues, which stood at Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion) last financial.

The company is likely to turn around by March 2012.

RGIA was built at an estimated Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 25 billion). It cost BIAL Rs 2,470 crore (Rs 24.7 billion) to build the airport.

With contributions from Praveen Bose and B Krishna Mohan


Image: Bangalore International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy: BIAL
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