The passenger traffic at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) continues to grow at an incredible pace. At the end of Financial Year 2018-19, a record 33.30 million passengers transited through the BLR Airport, further enhancing its reputation as one of the fastest growing airports in the world.

As passenger traffic continues to grow exponentially, BIAL – operator of the BLR Airport – has undertaken a massive Rs 13,000-crore capacity expansion to cater to the long-term demands of the aviation market in India.

This includes the first-phase construction of a 255,000-square meters Terminal II, an advanced Cat-IIIB Code-F Capable Runway and landside expansion, which, once ready will give the airport a substantial capacity boost.

Until the first phase of the new terminal is ready for operations in 2021, BIAL will continue to make various technology enhancements and innovations to ease congestion and travel through the Airport seamless.

Tech initiatives

Hari Marar, MD & CEO, Bangalore International Airport Ltd, said that creating a smooth and pleasant travel experience for passengers remains his top priority.

"Passengers at the BLR Airport have come to associate our Airport with a high-quality travel experience. Maintaining this experience poses a challenge, given the growth in passenger volumes we are currently witnessing. However, with careful hourly capacity management and investment in new technology, BIAL is committed to provide this to the best of our ability.”

“In order to support the growth at the BLR Airport, we have introduced several technology initiatives such as the fully-automated self-bag-drop machines, enabling passengers to complete the baggage check-in in under 45 seconds and the Smart Security Lane with Automated Tray Retrieval System to make travel seamless. Our other pioneering initiative that is set to go live soon is the biometric-based self-boarding solutions as part of Government of India’s Digi Yatra programme,” he added.

“Meanwhile, work on the second runway and terminal, as well as other supporting infrastructure, is on at full throttle. All this will provide the BLR Airport sufficient capacity to meet the demand over the next decade that this unprecedented growth has created,” Marar further added.

Passenger number m ilestone

The addition of new airlines and new routes to familiar destinations were the main driving factors as BLR Airport achieved this new milestone in passenger numbers, registering a 23.8 per cent growth over the previous year’s 26.91 million.

During the 12-month period, domestic traffic continued to be the main driver of growth, accounting for 28.82 million passengers, an upswing of 24.8 per cent over last fiscal’s 23.09 million. A total of 4.48 million passengers travelled to and from international destinations – a growth of 17.5 per cent over the previous year’s 3.81 million.

The BLR Airport plays a key role in driving the economy of the region – offering a wide air-route network – with over 37 passenger airlines and 12 cargo airlines connecting Bengaluru to the rest of the world.

Air Traffic

Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) increased by 21.8% with a total of 240,251 landing and take-offs compared to 197,330 movements last year. The average Air Traffic Movements per day for the year was 658.

The year also saw a sharp increase of 11% in cargo throughput, handling 386,780 MT as against 348,403 in 2017-18. International cargo processed during this period was 242,650 MT while the domestic was 144,130 MT.