Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Civil aviation ministry picks holes in design

Civil aviation ministry picks holes in design

Bangalore: Hyderabad has scored over Bangalore again. The civil aviation ministry has given its stamp of approval to the GMR Hyderabad International Airport but dumped the design for the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli.
In a letter sent to the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) in May first week, the civil aviation ministry expressed serious reservations over the quality of the airport design. “Primarily, it is not even the look we’re worried about. Some construction design elements are a cause for serious concern,” a top civil aviation ministry official informed TOI.
The points of concern pertain to structural design itself. For example, three sides of the terminal building’s floor at Bangalore are below ground level. “The capacity of the storm water drain at the terminal building is not adequate. So, unless it is augmented, the terminal building has every chance of being flooded during downpours,” officials said.
The Centre is also unhappy about the lack of a canopy outside the terminal building, again in view of the rain. Design flaws, like lack of distance between the escalators/staircases, have also been pointed out.
“The look of this airport is like that of a factory; there is no international flair. In contrast, the Hyderabad airport looks truly international. They have used the best of the consultants for everything. Even the additions AAI has made to the Mumbai airport look better,’’ the officials said. The ministry has suggested that colour and geometric shapes be used to make the airport look bright and lively. Hyderabad prides itself on its “spacious and abundant natural light’’. BIAL gets it wrong the second time
Bangalore: The civil aviation ministry has found flaws in the structural design of the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL).
This is the second time the Centre has complained about the quality of Bangalore airport.
In October 2005, civil aviation minister Praful Patel had complained both about the look of the airport and sought augmentation of the terminal’s capacity to handle more passengers.
BIAL did a redesign, submitted it to the Centre and had it cleared, with an additional cost of about Rs 500 crore raised from the market.
The Bangalore airport is modelled on the Zurich one, known to be the most efficient in Europe.
BIAL had proposed a granite flooring with rangoli and the Hampi mandala designs for the terminal building, besides silk drapes on the walls to showcase art from Karnataka.
The civil aviation minister shot both down and asked for an international look.
Civil aviation officials said: “They wanted black granite, which will develop spots within two months.”
“We objected to it, and they opted for the more international grey granite. Silk will also not be effective ; colour geometric shapes are better,’’ they added.
BIAL officials could not be reached for comment.


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