HAL Bangalore International Airport

). A taxi ride from the airport to the city centre, in peak hour traffic takes between 1/2 - 1 hour.

Domestic

The domestic departures section is on the left side of the airport (east side), while the domestic and international arrivals is on the right side of the airport (west side).

Departures

For domestic departures, check-in is located at two ends of the terminal - Gate 1 - for Indian Airlines, GoAir and Kingfisher Airlines, while Gate 2 gives access to Jet Airways, Deccan, SpiceJet, Jet Lite and Paramount Airways.

There is generally a huge queue for baggage screening (the queue forms outside the terminal for GoAir and Deccan); once through baggage screening you proceed to the check-in counters.

The domestic departures terminal has a book shop, a couple of phone booths, a snack shop, post office and limited seating area. The first floor restaurant is a popular place to sit down with a beer while awaiting a flight.

Arrivals

There are 3 baggage belts which are shared by all the airlines that use this terminal.

International

Departures

International departure is now located on the ground floor of the airport. In 2006, there was a revamp and extension of the international departures part of the airport. There are 2-3 baggage X-ray machines. Once check in has been completed, passengers take an escalator to the first floor and pass through immigration. Following immigration, passengers pass through customs control (which is optional), and then go through security screening. Once past security screening, passengers move to the gate hold area - which is common to all international departures, and has very limited seating. The gate area has a coffee shop and curio shop, and completely fills up during peak departure times (10 pm to 1:30 am every night).

As of October 2006, there is often a long line to get into the international departures terminal of the airport during late-night peak hours. Once past the checked-in baggage X-ray - there is a queue for checking in. Many airlines such as British Airways have "Fast Bag Drop" counters for passengers who have previously checked in online prior to arrival at the airport. This reduces waiting time considerably. Once past check-in, passengers typically pass through immigration in 5-10 minutes, though in cases where the hand baggage security screening after immigration is required, it can take an extra 20-30 minutes. In order to account for all these delays, passengers are advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to departure if they have not checked in online or 2 hours prior to departure if they have already checked in.

The international departures section does not have a lounge for Business or First Class passengers. Air France ask all premium customers to check-in at the Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel near by, and use the hotel facilities as a pre-departure lounge.

Arrivals

International arrivals starts on the first floor with the immigration counters. Once done with immigration, passengers take an escalator down to the baggage belts, but must first get all hand-baggage screened (X-ray) by the customs department. There are 2 baggage belts, but space is limited and the whole baggage claim area is cramped. There is also a duty free counter and a money exchange service in the same area. After collecting baggage, passengers pass through customs control, and out to the pre-paid taxi counter (run by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation).

Passengers connecting to domestic flights need to collect their bags, pass through customs, exit from the international arrivals, and turn right to the domestic departures area. The international and domestic terminals are all in the same building, hence connecting is very convenient.

Air side structure

HAL Airport has one runway, oriented to 90/27 degrees. There are 4 entry/exit taxiways, 2 on the east side called E2 (perimeter) and E1. Similarly there are 2 taxiways to the west side - W2 (perimeter) and W1.

There are now 5 aprons, apron 1 through apron 5. Apron 1 is the main apron, and has 10 parking bays. Bay 5 and bay 6 correspond to the 2 aerobridges. Apron 5 was opened in 2006 and has 5 bays.

ATC frequencies in use

The frequencies normally in use at VOBG are:

Most aircraft move to Chennai air traffic control (ATC) airspace immediately before or after Bangalore. Chennai ATC is operated on 119.5 MHz.

Airport upgrades

Ongoing talks have taken place since the early 1990s for upgrading Bangalore's airport to international standards and building a new airport at Devenahalli. The unprecedented growth of private low cost air carriers since 2003 has left the authorities with logistical nightmares in the terminal in supporting day to day operations. Low cost carriers like Deccan have made Bangalore a major hub, with flights connecting to smaller cities like Mangalore and Belgaum. The Bangalore-Mumbai route is growing into the second busiest in the country, second only to Mumbai-Delhi.

HAL intends to make optimal utilisation of the resources at the airport after the civilian operations shift to the upcoming international airport at Devanahalli on the outskirts of the city in mid-2008, HAL chairman told reporters;

There are varied reports about HAL's plans for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) at the airport. HAL was said to be close to signing an agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to launch a MRO at the airport. Earlier the foreign company had signed long term agreements with Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines for engine maintenance. The plan was to set up an MRO base for 150 engines by mid-07 and start with 50 per year. HAL are also reportedly in dialogues with Airbus as well as ATR for setting up an MRO facility at the airport. Once the upcoming international airport in Devanahalli becomes operational, HAL plans to use the existing airport for certification of HAL's own aircraft too.

Completely building a new airport (as opposed to upgrading the current HAL airport) eventually won out with the new Bangalore International Airport Limited finally being realized. Construction of the new airport began on July 2, 2005 and commercial operation began from May 23, 2008. Originally, this airport was to be able to handle 4-5 million passengers annually, with a single runway (convert|13517|ft|m|abbr=on in length). However, given the sharp increase in passenger traffic in 2005, the airport has been redesigned so that its terminals will be able to handle 12 million passengers in the first phase. The cost of this change is estimated at Rs 4.5 billion and is funded by the private consortium.

Incidents and accidents

* 14 February 1990, Indian Airlines Flight 605, an Airbus A320, crashed on final approach with 92 fatalities. [ [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19900214-2&lang=en Flight 605] at the Aviation Safety Network]
* 28 December 1996, a Blue Dart Aviation Boeing 737 made a heavy, off-center landing causing damage to the aircraft and runway. [ [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19961228-0&lang=en Incident report] at the Aviation Safety Network]
* 12 February 2004, a helicopter being used by the HAL Rotary Wing Academy crashes, injuring both occupants. [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/02/13/stories/2004021309720400.htm Chopper crash-lands at HAL Airport] ]
* 26 October 2005, a Indian Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Mig 21) crashes killing the pilot. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2005/10/27/stories/2005102706011200.htm Pilot killed as MiG crashes in Bangalore] ]
* 11 March 2006, a Deccan ATR 72, with 44 passengers and 4 crew makes a heavy landing. There are no major injuries but the aircraft is written off. [ [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20060311-0&lang=en Incident report] at the Aviation Safety Network] [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/03/12/stories/2006031202600300.htm Air Deccan aircraft skids off runway] ]
* 4 May 2006, a Transmile Air Services 727-2F2F suffered damage to the left wing fuel tank. [ [http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20060504-0&lang=en Incident report] at the Aviation Safety Network]
* 21 August 2006, a Kiran Mark II trainer aircraft crashes after the wheels failed. [ [http://www.ibnlive.com/news/plane-crashlands-at-bangalore-airport/19216-3.html Plane crash-lands at Bangalore Airport] ]
* 6 June 2007, Sri Lankan Cargo Antonov An-12 loses engine power on runway. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2007/06/15/stories/2007061554200500.htm Air traffic disrupted as cargo aircraft gets stuck on runway] ]

References

External links

* [http://aai.aero/allAirports/blr_gi.jsp Bangalore International Airport] at Airports Authority of India web site
*
*

; HAL Airport in the news
* [http://www.hindu.com/2004/03/14/stories/2004031401090500.htm Traffic at HAL Airport will continue to be high, "The Hindu", 14-Mar-2004]
* [http://www.hindu.com/2005/07/13/stories/2005071321260100.htm HAL Airport to get three more terminals, "The Hindu", 13-Jul-2005]
* [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1998686.cms Private airlines still prefer HAL Airport, "The Times of India", 17-Sep-2006]


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