Starting this October, new facilities will ensure smoother passage for passengers at the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), as the expansion work on the T-1 is nearing completion.

Airport authorities have started conducting various trials for the readiness of facilities, all of which would be made operational in phases from October. The T-1 expansion that would be able to handle about 20 million passengers annually has been taken up at a cost of about Rs. 1,500 crore.

The airport handled 12 million passengers and about 2.26 lakh tonnes of cargo in 2012. Commissioned in May 2008, the BIAL, in which the GVK group holds 43 per cent stake, had announced the expansion plan in 2011. In 2012 March/April, the airport runway had been closed partially for maintenance and upgrading.

Biweekly trials on the check-in counters along with trials on check-in bags with simulated passengers and flights have been initiated in collaboration with airlines, an update released by the airport’s operator, Bangalore International Airport Ltd., on Wednesday said.

The work on the check-in baggage make up process and security screening is in progress to keep the new infrastructure ready.

As part of the expansion plan, the Airport Operational Control Centre (AOCC) has come up that will act as the nerve -centre of the airport. This high tech infrastructure is expected to ensure faster turnaround time making operations as well as travel through the BIA more efficient and economical for passengers.

The jet blast fence — a safety device that redirects the high energy exhaust from a jet engine to prevent damage and injury to people, equipment and other aircraft is underway, the update said. Installation of elevators has been completed and the glass façade works are substantially completed across the expanded terminal.

Currently, 33 airlines operate in BIA, serving more than 51 destinations –both domestic and international through about 300 aircraft movement per day.

The design of the terminal expansion takes into account existing core strengths-short walkways, ease and convenience of usage, linear flow and flexible design, the update said. The plan on second runway is also underway.

New facilities at airport from October