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Karnataka Government Pursues Second Bengaluru Airport Amid Growth Pressures

Airport

The Karnataka government has initiated a search for suitable land to establish a second airport in Bengaluru. A meeting convened by State Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) Minister MB Patil on June 20th focused on this endeavor.

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Patil directed officials to prepare a feasibility report for the proposed airport, citing the need to accommodate the future growth of Bengaluru, a rapidly expanding global metropolis. The meeting, held at Vidhana Soudha, included IDD Secretary N Manjula, Karnataka Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation MD BC Satish, among others.

“The current Kempegowda International Airport, ranking as India’s third busiest after Delhi and Mumbai, handled 37.5 million passengers and over 4 lakh tonnes of cargo last year. This underscores the urgency for a second airport to manage future demands,” stated Patil.

He emphasized the necessity to develop an industrial ecosystem beyond Bengaluru and noted that the existing contract prohibits constructing another airport within a 150-kilometer radius until 2033. With impending capacity constraints projected at the current airport by 2033 for passengers and 2040 for cargo, Patil stressed the need to commence preparations promptly.

Sources indicated that a potential site for the new airport could be along Tumakuru Road, aligned with the state budget’s plan to extend the Metro rail to Tumakuru, enhancing connectivity and stimulating real estate in northwest Bengaluru.

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In related developments, proposals dating back to 2022 by former Large and Medium Industries Minister Murugesh R Nirani and then Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also aimed to establish an international airport in Tumakuru district to alleviate congestion at Kempegowda International Airport.

Meanwhile, Home Minister G Parameshwara has advocated for both Metro extensions and the establishment of a second airport in Tumakuru district, suggesting the suburban rail from Chikkabanavara as a viable option.

Regarding Kempegowda International Airport’s expansion plans, the ongoing refurbishment of Terminal 1 and Phase 2 development of Terminal 2 are set to increase the combined passenger capacity to 60 million per annum. Future developments, including Terminal 3 expected by the late 2020s or early 2030s, aim to further boost capacity to 90-100 million passengers annually.

In conclusion, the Karnataka government’s exploration of a second airport in Bengaluru reflects proactive measures to sustain the region’s burgeoning aviation needs amid growing urbanization and economic activities.

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