The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) became the first airport in the country to operate flights on independent parallel runways by opening the south runway on Friday.
A release said that at 4.37 p.m., the flight to Hyderabad took off from the 4,000-metres long and 45-metres wide airstrip.
Hari Marar, MD and CEO of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), termed the opening of the south runway as a “historic day”.
“Our first runway opened 11 years ago and became a linchpin for the region’s economic development during the last decade. With the aviation industry in India set for exponential growth, two operational runways will provide the thrust required to cater to this demand and further bolster growth of Karnataka and India,” he was quoted in the press release.
BIAL had begun the construction work of the south runway in mid-2018 . Initially, there was a plan to open the runway by October 2019.
In August, after completing validation flights, BIAL announced that commercial operations will start on December 5. However, it did not start on the new runway as per the schedule as BIAL did not receive clearance and paper works were under way.
The release stated that the south runway will begin with limited operations and gradually scale up. The runway will initially have CAT I certification and as operations stabilise, will progressively manage CAT III B operations, enabling landing and take off in extremely low visibility conditions. At KIA, during winter, flight operations get disrupted owing to dense fog and poor visibility.
“With safety being the top-most priority, BIAL has built an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station equipped with advanced, state-of-the-art crash fire tenders to cater to any fire-related emergencies on the south runway.
The airport fire trucks meet the highest safety standards, replete with innovative product features. Over 100 firefighters were recruited from across Karnataka and expert fire engineers from the National Fire Safety College, Nagpur, to strengthen the firefighting squad,” stated the release.