Second Runway at Kempegowda Airport May or May Not be Ready


The project for the completion of the runway was slow in the beginning due to monsoons

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), is having its second runway and terminal being constructed to reduce human traffic and increase the number of flights that ply to and fro. Unfortunately, the deadline for final construction is supposed to be Sept. 2019.

The Larsen & Toubro Company is in charge of the establishment of the second runway as well as the second terminal at the Kempegowda International Airport. Sushma Prakash from Larsen and Toubro said, “The project started off a little slowly in the beginning, but it has picked up pace now. It was a bit delayed because of the monsoon.”

Workers at the site stated that the second terminal was going to be much bigger than the first one, since the land used is around 4,000 acres. Sources at the site office also gave in-depth information about the different levels in which the work will be done. According to them, there are four stages of construction.

A senior official from the site office stated that, as of July 28, 2018, the excavation, pile test and basic leveling had been done. These processes come under Stage 1, which is existing ground level. Earth-work is the major stage in this construction, which is now completed.

One of the site workers named Vetri said, “The work was paused for a while because we couldn’t carry on when the rainwater kept stagnating on the excavated land. The leveling was affected because the soil kept getting wet and slushy.”

Until Oct. 2018, Stage 2 and Stage 3 had been completed and Stage 4 was done by 60-65 percent, Prakash claimed.

Additionally, there are processes like Granular Sub Grade (GSD) and Wet Mix Macadam (WMM) which are going on, but not in full swing. According to the Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology, GSD refers to the procedure where thin layers of concrete/asphalt are applied over any roadway/runway to help with load bearing and strengthening the road structure. Civil Lab Test states that Wet Mix Macadam is the process of laying and compacting crushed granular material which is mixed with water.

Prakash also mentioned that there are six auxiliary buildings being erected nearby, out of which one is already completed, three more are being worked on, and two more are yet to be started. These buildings are not related to the second terminal.

There has been a difference in opinion as well. An official from the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) claimed that establishment of another separate cargo line would be helpful in increasing the “space” for human usage of airlines.

With so much work going on already, there is also the plan of using LED lights to light the second runway, which will be done near the final stages. Ms. Prakash said that there won’t be any need for extension of deadlines for lighting, since this is a part of the last phase. She spoke confidently that they have been able to catch up.

As per the annual report of 2016-17 released by the BIAL, KIA handled around 22.88 million passengers and a total of 178,117 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) with the sole terminal it currently has. This indicates an increase in the number of commuters and the ATMs in 2016-17 when compared to 2015-16, since the financial year 2015-16 saw 18.97 million passengers and 153,831 ATMs.

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The report also mentioned that the second runway along with the second terminal is going to help regulate human traffic and increase the capacity of the airport to accommodate around 65 million passengers per year with the help of two terminals. Upgrading of existing runway is being enabled to handle up to 48 ATMs per hour by adding 2 rapid exit taxiways (RETs) and 2 connecting taxiways to cater to the increased plane traffic.