Karnataka Government To Review Locations For Bengaluru's Second Airport: Sarjapura, Tumakuru Among Contenders

V Bhagya Subhashini

Jul 09, 2024, 12:46 PM | Updated 12:52 PM IST

The Bengaluru airport.
The Bengaluru airport.

On 7 July, Karnataka Infrastructure Minister M B Patil announced that the state government will soon convene a meeting to decide the location for the proposed second airport for Bengaluru.

The decision-making process will focus on two main aspects: passenger load and connectivity to the existing Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

"If we prioritise passenger loads, areas such as Sarjapura and Kanakapura Road are strong contenders," Patil said. "On the other hand, if connectivity to the existing airport becomes a priority, places like Tumakuru and Dobbaspet will be in the lead."

Patil explained that these considerations will be discussed in the upcoming departmental meeting and further reviewed with the Chief Minister. The issue will also be brought up in the cabinet meeting.

The exclusivity clause with the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which restricts the establishment of another airport within a 150-km radius, ends in 2032. This opens the potential for the development of a new airport by 2033.

"Considering the time required for land acquisition and compensation for landowners, the government has initiated the planning process," Patil noted.

Bengaluru's population has already surpassed one crore and the city is home to numerous global companies. The current airport also serves nearby districts and some areas of Andhra Pradesh. Patil emphasised, "By 2033, the passenger capacity will be maxed out. Even the quantum of goods will reach its capacity by 2040."

Patil pointed out the need for a second airport to foster an industrial ecosystem beyond Bengaluru.

He also highlighted that major cities like New York and London have multiple airports nearby and cited Mumbai, where the distance between the two airports is 36 km, as an example, reports Money Control.

Addressing the Tamil Nadu government's decision to build an airport in Hosur, Patil said it needs to be examined whether the exclusivity clause with BIAL applies to this situation.

In November 2022, KIA launched its second terminal, which now handles international airlines alongside a few domestic ones. The first phase of Terminal 2, costing an estimated Rs 13,000 crore, boasts a built-up area of approximately 2.5 lakh square metres. The second phase will add another 4.41 lakh square metres to the terminal.

Bengaluru's KIA, the third busiest in India after Delhi and Mumbai, managed 37.5 million passengers and over 4 lakh tonnes of cargo last year. This highlights the necessity for a second airport to accommodate future growth.

In 2020, the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce urged the government to establish a second airport for the state capital, suggesting a location between Ramanagara and Channapatna.

As Bengaluru continues to expand and its airport infrastructure reaches capacity, the development of a second airport is seen as crucial for sustaining the city’s growth and supporting its burgeoning industrial sector.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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