HAL Bangalore International Airport: Wikis

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HAL Bangalore Airport
HAL Airport
Hindustan Airport
Bangalore HAL.jpg
IATA: noneICAO: VOBG
Summary
Airport type Military/Public
Operator Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Airports Authority of India
Location Bangalore
Elevation AMSL 2,912 ft / 888 m
Coordinates 12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95°N 77.66833°E / 12.95; 77.66833Coordinates: 12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95°N 77.66833°E / 12.95; 77.66833
Website http://aai.aero
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 10,850 3,307 Asphalt

HAL Bangalore International Airport (ICAO: VOBG), also known as HAL Airport or Hindustan Airport, is the airport of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility at Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

The airport is used to test and develop aircraft for the Indian Armed Forces. Manufacturing and overhauling of such aircraft has averaged nearly one per day (on a company-wide, All-India basis) over the 40 year life span of the firm.

It was also a domestic and international airport serving the city. However this usage is now defunct, as its passenger usage was replaced by the new Bengaluru International Airport on May 24, 2008. It handled an estimated 7.5 million passengers a year as of 2006 and an average of at least 550 flights (takeoffs and landings) per day, earning an estimated Rs 1-1.5 billion in landing and aircraft parking fees from scheduled airlines.

Contents

Overview

Originally set up by HAL in 1964, mainly for defence purposes, operations were extended for domestic commercial flights in the 1980s while the airport started to serve international destinations in 1997. In the past decade, the airport has gone through a series of expansions and upgrades to keep pace with the growing civilian air traffic in the city. While the rated capacity of the airport was 3.6 million passengers per year it was last operating at a super saturated level of 7.5 million. Reportedly HAL requested airlines to discontinue the addition of flights to and from Bangalore some time ago.

In the mid 1990s, friction started to arise between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and HAL. AAI wanted more control over airport management which HAL refused, citing national security concerns. The HAL airport is the site of much of HAL's test and research facility. Currently, more than 50% of the Indian Air Force fleet consists of aircraft manufactured by HAL. The airport's management issue also caused contention between the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Thus turf wars may have been the major problem, and not over-riding operational factors. In 2005, a private consortium, Bangalore International Airport Limited, (BIAL), in which AAI was a minority shareholder, finally started construction on the new Bengaluru International Airport. Now completed and commissioned, BIAL has replaced HAL airport as Bangalore's international and domestic airport, while HAL airport will serve only as a test and research facility for HAL. The new airport is about 35 km (22 mi) from Bangalore and a new 6-lane highway is being built to access it. However, highway access to the new airport has been delayed at least 1 year after its expected opening in mid May 2008. Travel time is estimated at up to 3 hours from the southern parts of the city. Hence low cost airlines are making strong representations to the Civil Aviation Minister to let them continue to use the more conveniently located HAL airport despite the contractual obligation to close down the airport's civil enclave.

Land side structure

Kingfisher Airlines taxiing in HAL Bangalore International Airport

There are separate check-in sections for domestic and international departures, and separate sections for domestic and international arrivals. The airport has two aerobridges and preference on using the aerobridges is given to international flights.

HAL Airport is relatively close to the city centre (12 km (7.5 mi)). A taxi ride from the airport to the city centre, in peak hour traffic takes between 1/2 - 1 hour.

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Domestic

The domestic departures section is on the left side of the airport (east side), while the domestic and international arrivals is on the right side of the airport (west side).

Departures

For domestic departures, check-in is located at two ends of the terminal - Gate 1 - for Indian Airlines, GoAir and Paramount Airways, while Gate 2 gives access to Jet Airways, Deccan, SpiceJet, Jet Lite and Kingfisher Airlines .

There is generally a huge queue for baggage screening (the queue forms outside the terminal for GoAir and Deccan); once through baggage screening you proceed to the check-in counters.

The domestic departures terminal has a book shop, a couple of phone booths, a snack shop, post office and limited seating area. The first floor restaurant is a popular place to sit down with a beer while awaiting a flight.

Arrivals

There are 3 baggage belts which are shared by all the airlines that use this terminal.

International

Departures

International departure is now located on the ground floor of the airport. In 2006, there was a revamp and extension of the international departures part of the airport. There are 2-3 baggage X-ray machines. The international departures section does not have a lounge for Business or First Class passengers. Air France ask all premium customers to check-in at the Leela Palace Kempinski Hotel near by, and use the hotel facilities as a pre-departure lounge.

Arrivals

International arrivals starts on the first floor with the immigration counters. Once done with immigration, passengers take an escalator down to the baggage belts, but must first get all hand-baggage screened (X-ray) by the customs department. There are 2 baggage belts. There is also a duty free counter and a money exchange service in the same area. After collecting baggage, passengers pass through customs control, and out to the pre-paid taxi counter (run by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation).

Passengers connecting to domestic flights need to collect their bags, pass through customs, exit from the international arrivals, and turn right to the domestic departures area. The international and domestic terminals are all in the same building, hence connecting is very convenient.

Air side structure

HAL Airport has one runway, oriented to 90/270 degrees. There are 4 entry/exit taxiways, 2 on the east side called E2 (perimeter) and E1. Similarly there are 2 taxiways to the west side - W2 (perimeter) and W1.

There are now 5 aprons, apron 1 through apron 5. Apron 1 is the main apron, and has 10 parking bays. Bay 5 and bay 6 correspond to the 2 aerobridges. Apron 5 was opened in 2006 and has 5 bays.

ATC frequencies in use

The frequencies normally in use at VOBG are:

ATC Frequencies at VOBG
Call Sign Used for Frequency
1 Bangalore Tower Runway to 6,000 ft (1,800 m) 123.5 MHz
2 Bangalore Radar 6,000 ft (1,800 m) to 12,000 ft (3,700 m) 127.7 MHz
3 Bangalore Radar (not used during off-peak hours) Used as an intermediate step between the tower (123.5) and radar (127.7) 120.6 MHz
4 Bangalore Ground (not used during off-peak hours) Ground movement - off runway 121.95 MHz
5 Bangalore ATIS Information 128.25 MHz

Most aircraft move to Chennai air traffic control (ATC) airspace immediately before or after Bangalore. Chennai ATC is operated on 119.5 MHz.

Airport upgrades

Ongoing talks have taken place since the early 1990s for upgrading Bangalore's airport to international standards and building a new airport at Devenahalli. The unprecedented growth of private low cost air carriers since 2003 has left the authorities with logistical nightmares in the terminal in supporting day to day operations. Low cost carriers like Deccan have made Bangalore a major hub, with flights connecting to smaller cities like Mangalore and Belgaum. The Bangalore-Mumbai route is growing into the second busiest in the country, second only to Mumbai-Delhi.

HAL intends to make optimal utilisation of the resources at the airport after the civilian operations shift to the upcoming international airport at Devanahalli on the outskirts of the city in mid-2008, HAL chairman told reporters;

Apart from maintaining the airport for our test flights, military operations and VIP flights, we intend to set up an MRO facility to service the growing number of civilian aircraft, operated by public and private airlines in the domestic and international sectors,...

There are varied reports about HAL's plans for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) at the airport. HAL was said to be close to signing an agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to launch a MRO at the airport. Earlier the foreign company had signed long term agreements with Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines for engine maintenance. The plan was to set up an MRO base for 150 engines by mid-07 and start with 50 per year. HAL are also reportedly in dialogues with Airbus as well as ATR for setting up an MRO facility at the airport. Once the upcoming international airport in Devanahalli becomes operational, HAL plans to use the existing airport for certification of HAL's own aircraft too.

Completely building a new airport (as opposed to upgrading the current HAL airport) eventually won out with the new Bangalore International Airport Limited finally being realized. Construction of the new airport began on July 2, 2005 and commercial operation began from May 23, 2008. Originally, this airport was to be able to handle 4-5 million passengers annually, with a single runway (13,517 ft (4,120 m) in length). However, given the sharp increase in passenger traffic in 2005, the airport has been redesigned so that its terminals will be able to handle 12 million passengers in the first phase. The cost of this change is estimated at Rs 4.5 billion and is funded by the private consortium.

Incidents and accidents

  • 6 March 2009, The Saras aircraft of IAF ,Take off from HAL Bangalore crashed with 3 causalities.[10]

References

  1. ^ Flight 605 at the Aviation Safety Network
  2. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  3. ^ Chopper crash-lands at HAL Airport
  4. ^ Pilot killed as MiG crashes in Bangalore
  5. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  6. ^ Air Deccan aircraft skids off runway
  7. ^ Incident report at the Aviation Safety Network
  8. ^ Plane crash-lands at Bangalore Airport
  9. ^ Air traffic disrupted as cargo aircraft gets stuck on runway
  10. ^ [1]

External links

HAL Airport in the news

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