Monday, June 21, 2004

Some improvements but a long way to go

The existing Bangalore Airport in the HAL Complex is often referred to as "Third-rate" by visitors from the first world. Bangalore is the busiest airport on the domestic circuit after Bombay and Delhi and in recent times the International traffic has also risen exponentially. However, a recent visit revealed several improvements which although inadequate are very welcome. The departure terminal has received quite a facelift with the entrance characterized by streamlined lanes for halting traffic, parking and pedestrians. The signs are for once informative and the guards at the gate polite. Even the interiors have been done up. Sadly, it is not air-conditioned, and even if the city is Bangalore, the discomfort is perceptible. The arrival terminal is chaos personified, in contrast. Beginning from the woefully inadequate baggage carousels where the signs display one thing and your baggage appears on another carousel, to the mob of taxi drivers who descend upon you the moment you step outside the terminal building the scene resembles one from a village market. The parking is also inadequate and the lanes exiting the departure terminal are perenially mired in confusion. Relatively better airport but still a long way to go before it will pass muster. Given the constraints of space there is little more that can be done but keep your fingers crossed in hope of the Devanahalli International Airport taking off.


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