Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Airport can't handle more flights: HAL

Airport can't handle more flights: HAL
The Hindu

Bangalore: Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) A.K. Saxena said here on Monday that airlines had been informed the airport could not handle any more flights.

"We have reached a saturation stage and our own test flights are getting hampered. We are already operating at more than twice our capacity and are over stretched," Mr. Saxena said.

Work on schedule

Regional Director of Airport Authority of India (AAI) A. Krishnamurthy said the ongoing airport improvement work was scheduled to be completed by April 30 and the installation of additional conveyor belts for baggage handling was also being completed.

In terms of passenger traffic, the airport has emerged as the third busiest in the country, but the facilities have not kept in pace.

The huge increase in the number of flights by different airlines, State-owned and private carriers, means there is one landing or take-off every two minutes during peak time.

Handling capacity

The airport currently manages about 260 to 300 take-offs and landings of aircraft on most days, including civilian, IAF and HAL's own aircraft. Only the Mumbai airport with 550 to 600 take-offs and landings and New Delhi with 450 to 500 are busier than Bangalore.

The increasing air traffic has meant a big increase in passenger traffic as well. Currently, about six million passengers use the HAL airport in a year, which is bound to increase further as more international carriers add Bangalore to their schedules.

The airport was originally designed to handle only about 3.6 million passengers a year.


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