BIAL to spend Rs.1,000 crore to revamp Bangalore airport


Bangalore : The Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) consortium will invest Rs.1,000 crore (Rs.10 billion) to enhance and expand its airport at Devanahalli, about 38 km from this tech hub, a top company official said Thursday.

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“The Bengaluru international airport will have a new look with enhanced capacity in terminal 1 to meet the rapidly growing passenger traffic to and from this city,” BIAL Vice-Chairman G.V. Krishna Reddy told reporters here.

The consortium board, which was reconstituted after GVK Power and Infrastructure invested 29 percent early this year, will borrow Rs.700 crore from banks as debt and raise the balance Rs.300 crore from internal accruals and other stakeholders in proportion to their equity holding in the public-private company.

“The debt-equity portion of the proposed investment will be in the ratio of 70:30 and the renovation-cum expansion project will be implemented in 18 months,” BIAL Managing Director Sanjay Reddy said.

The country’s Rs.2,500-crore greenfield airport, which began commercial operations May 23, 2008 on build, own and operate (BOO) terms after protracted delays, has been under attack for its “shoddy image” when compared to other international airports, especially its counterpart in Hyderabad.

Post-expansion, the terminal will spread over an area of 134,000 sq.m (square metres) against 72,000 sq.m presently and will have 23 boarding gates in place of 12 now, 83 counters against 53, 13 baggage reclaim belts instead of nine and 5,300 seating capacity in place of 2,300 seats.

“The expansion of the terminal has been designed to enhance the operational performance and handle the increase of passenger traffic till 2015, which is projected to be 17.6 million people, including 14 million from domestic and 3.6 million from international operations,” Sanjay Reddy pointed out.

Designed by the US-based leading architect design firm HOK in partnership with planners, urban designers and consultants, the expanded terminal will sport a new look, with a swooping and curving roof that will give a new brand image to the otherwise swanky airport.

“We are committed to make Bengaluru airport the gateway to South India and an important driver for the growth of the city and state,” Krishna Reddy asserted.

Noting that the proposed expansion of the existing terminal would mark a milestone for the airport, Sanjay Reddy said the radiant interiors and new exteriors will mirror the rich culture of Karnataka and the vibrant colours of this garden city.

Besides the Hyderabad-based GVKPI, the BIAL consortium consists of Unique Zurich Airport with Siemens Project Ventures holding 45 percent combine equity, the state-run Airport Authority of India and Karnataka State Industrial Investment Development Corporation (KSIIDC) with 13 percent each equity holding.

Larsen and Toubro (L&T) exited the consortium by offloading its 17 percent stake to GVK while Zurich diluted its stake by selling 12 percent to GVK.