Long standing plans by the Indian Government to build a new airport at Bangalore are moving forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Airports Authority of India and Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development. Cost estimates for Bangalore International Airport have been cut by half to Rs10 billion ($215 million) ahead of the selection of a foreign investment partner. The project is expected to be completed by 2004. The government agencies will hold a combined 26% stake, and the remaining 74% is earmarked for an investment partner. Bids are due within two months with the hope that work can begin early next year. Two consortia have been identified as potential bidders, one led by Zurich Airport and Siemens, the other led by construction group Hochtief. The new passenger terminal at Chicago Midway Airport opened earlier this month, featuring larger check-in counters, baggage claim areas, an advanced baggage system and improved road access. Brazilian airports authority Infraero has ordered 39 AWOS 900 automated weather observation systems from US firm Qualimetrics for installation at airports across Brazil. The Japanese Government has set aside $3.3 billion in its budget for fiscal 2001 to fund airport expansion in the country. This includes the building of the new airport at Nagoya (Chubu), a second terminal at Tokyo Haneda, a second runway at Tokyo Narita, and a second runway at Kansai Airport. Some $12 million has been put aside to continue the feasibility study regarding the construction of a third airport to serve Tokyo. UK airports operator BAA is to undertake a £40 million ($58 million) resurfacing project over the next two years of the two runways at London Heathrow to allow the runways to be strengthened to accommodate new ultra large aircraft such as the Airbus A380.

Source: Flight International