Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport on Friday became India’s first airport with the independent parallel runway, enabling aircraft to land or take-off simultaneously on both runways.
The airport commenced operations on the new South Runway with the take-off of the first flight on the 4000-meters long and 45-meters wide airstrip.
“It is a historic day for us at Bengaluru Airport as we commenced operations on the new runway,” said Hari Marar, MD and CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).
“Our first runway opened 11 years ago, and became a linchpin for the region’s economic development during the last decade. With the aviation industry in India set for exponential growth, two operational runways will provide the thrust required to cater to this demand and further bolster the growth of Karnataka and India. The opening of this key infrastructure is the outcome of phenomenal collaboration amongst various stakeholders and the implementation of processes and procedures developed through advanced simulations and assessments. The new Runway will further bolster our vision to transform Bengaluru Airport into the new gateway to India,” Marar added.
The South Runway will begin with limited operations before gradually scaling up flight operations. The runway will initially have CAT I certification, and, as operations stabilise, will progressively manage CAT III B operations, enabling landing and takeoff in extremely low visibility conditions. The new runway will be coded RWY 09R/27L, while the existing runway will be renamed RWY 09L/27R (from RWY 09/27).
According to airport officials, with safety being the top most priority, BIAL has built an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station equipped with advanced, state-of-the-art Crash Fire Tenders (CFTs) to cater to any fire-related emergencies on the South Runway. The Airport fire trucks meet the highest safety standards, replete with innovative product features. Over 100 firefighters were recruited from across Karnataka and expert fire engineers from National Fire Safety College, Nagpur, to strengthen the firefighting squad.
The New South Parallel Runway (NSPR) was scheduled to commence operations on December 5. But it was deferred at the last moment pending security clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
In 2018, BIAL had started construction of NSPR. In August this year, validation flights were conducted to certify aerodrome navigational aids and instrument procedures as determined by civil aviation regulations. On completion, BIAL had announced that commercial operations will start on December 5.