Having received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the refurbished and upgraded North Runway at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport) has commenced operations from Thursday.
North Runway to Increase Efficiency
Closed for operations since June 2020, the runway refurbishment included strengthening of the surface with fresh layers of asphalt and the addition of two new taxiways to enable efficient runway operations.
The runway will continue to be categorised as CAT I but has been enhanced with new installations such as LED Runway Centreline lighting, Inset Runway Edge Lights and Taxiway Centreline Lighting and two new mid-point Transmissometers. All these installations will be commissioned later this year.
With the CAT IIIB-equipped South Runway becoming operational since December 6, 2019, these enhancements would offer BLR Airport the flexibility to operate both runways in low visibility and adverse weather conditions.
The enhanced equipment enable aircraft to take-off from the North Runway with a Runway Visual Range (RVR) of 125 metres and land at 550 metres RVR. The South Runway is designated as RWY 09R/27L, while the North Runway is RWY 09L/27R.
The two operational runways at BLR Airport will provide the necessary impetus to cater to this demand and boost the growth of Karnataka and India. The two Runways will further bolster BIAL’s vision to transform BLR Airport into the new gateway to India.
CAT I Compliant
Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) — operator of BLR Airport — initially proposed an upgrade of the North Runway to CAT IIIB. However, based on the outcome of stakeholder consultations and considering the drop in traffic due to the pandemic, the North Runway will remain CAT I compliant.
In addition, given that low visibility weather conditions at BLR Airport usually occur during limited periods each year, one CAT IIIB compliant South Runway should suffice for seamless operations, in the near term.