The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru will be partially closed for around two-and-a-half months early next year for upgradation work on the runway. Starting February 19 till April 30, the airport will be shut from 10.30 am to 5 pm every day, the Bangalore International Airport Limited said in a statement. The runway will also be closed for rehearsals and during show timings for the annual Aero India show in early February.
Passengers will not be inconvenienced too much by the closure, airport authorities promised, saying they will improve the flight handling capacity in the hours preceding and following the closure. Airport officials have chalked out new flight schedules with the Air Traffic Control and airline companies, reported The Times of India. The Civil Aviation Ministry is also believed to have agreed to the plans, though there was no official confirmation on this. The authorities have also asked the airport taxi service operation and the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation, which runs a shuttle service to and from the airport, to make arrangements to handle the increased footfall between 5 pm and 10.30 am.
As part of the upgradation project, the Bengaluru airport authorities will build two rapid exit taxiways to increase runway capacity. Currently, the runway handles 38 air traffic movements every hour. With the additional rapid exit taxiways, this is expected to increase to 48 per hour. This is the second time the runway will be shut down. It was closed from March 11 to April 3, 2012, for emergency repairs.