Bengaluru Airport to start expansion work in 2010

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Bengaluru International Airport hopes to begin work on an expansion of its facilities in early 2010, and start to plan for major additions later next year.

The airport aims to select a contractor by the end of the year for the first phase, which is scheduled to begin in January 2010 and end by December 2011. This will increase the number of aircraft parking slots to 62 from 42, and expand the terminal building to "accommodate the increase in passenger traffic", says a spokeswoman for Bangalore International Airport (BIAL).

"Even with the current slowdown, the traffic figures in this region are set to stabilise and grow at a steady pace. Reacting to this growth, we will continue to realise our master plan and expand to accommodate increased traffic in terms of aircraft movements and passengers," says a spokeswoman. "With the existing infrastructure, the airport can easily handle the passenger traffic for the next couple of years."

In 2010, BIAL will also begin to plan for a much bigger expansion that will probably entail the construction of a second terminal and runway. This will be "a mirror image of the airport infrastructure that one sees today," says the spokeswoman.

"This airport will be a work in progress project for the next 10-15 years with gradual but continuous expansion phases, the way it was initially envisioned and planned," she adds

BIAL has not decided on the specifications for the second terminal and runway. This will "depend on a wide range of factors like traffic forecasts, the type of aircraft that the airport will be handling [and] requirements of airlines operating a few years from now. These details are dynamic and will constantly be changed to align with the need of the hour," says the spokeswoman.