Time flies! It is ten years since Bengaluru International Airport (operated by BIAL), as the new Bangalore airport was called, started operations on May 24, 2008.
A few weeks before the airport opened, we were thrilled to be able to visit the site along with members of Praja, a group working for the betterment of the city. Getting there was quite a journey, and we knew were were close once the bus drove on to the flyovers that were still being completed. The bus stopped somewhere on the top and we were allowed to get off, walk around and take pictures. There were people from the BIAL team who were there to explain things and answer questions.
For people who were used to seeing HAL airport, the new airport was overwhelming. It was so big. Something like what the children had seen out of India.
On entering the airport, we were greeted by a model of the entire airport area.
Check in counters… till number 53!
The first floor…
On the tarmac…
We got to see the airport’s fire engine close up, and in demo mode too.
The arrival area…
Today the airport looks quite different. It has a different name – Kempegowda International Airport. It was expanded – Terminal 1A was built to double its capacity. It is the third busiest in India in terms of passenger traffic, after Delhi and Mumbai. The trees around have grown and there is much greenery. And over the next few years it is going to become even bigger and busier with a new runway and a new terminal under construction.
We’ll never see the sights we saw in April 2008 again and are privileged to have seen aviation history in Bangalore being made.