Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bangalore airport work to begin on July 2

Bangalore airport work to begin on July 2
The Hindu Business Line

SIX years after its conception, the new public-private international airport project at Bangalore has completed the last formality of financial closure and is all set to see construction activities begin on July 2.

The airport, coming up at Devanahalli, 40 km from here, will be completed in 30 months and will become operational by April 2008, the MD of Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), Mr Albert Brunner, and the Karnataka Industries & Infrastructure Minister, Mr P.G.R. Sindhia, announced on Monday .

"We see light at the end of the tunnel," said Mr Brunner, adding that the real big task was now ahead of the company.

Mr Brunner has been at the helm of project affairs since the Siemens-led consortium was chosen in October 2001 to build the airport.

Today's announcement seals the last of the formalities since the genesis of the airport project in May 1999, when the State-owned Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) and the Airports Authority of India signed an MoU for joint participation. The deadline to take up works shifted several times from 2002 to finally July 2005.

BIAL and lead bank, ICICI Bank, declared the financial closure on June 23, a day after the State Government provided the crucial guarantee for its Rs 350-crore contingency support.

Mr Brunner said first phase would cost Rs 14,11.8 crore, of which ICICI Bank-led lender consortium will provide 52.1 per cent, State Government 24.8 per cent and the five shareholders 23.1 per cent.

Phase 1 will take up a 4,000-meter runway, taxiways, apron area with aircraft stands and a terminal building, all coming up on 3,800 acres of land with provision to expand.

BIAL would develop, design, construct, operate, manage and maintain the airport. All non-aviation activities would be leased out.

BIAL is a joint venture of Siemens Project Ventures (40 per cent); L&T, Zurich Airport (17 per cent each); and public sector partners AAI and KSIIDC (13 per cent each).


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