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Ready to fly to Bangalore International Airport?

By Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore
November 14, 2007 00:28 IST
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You have a choice -- would you prefer to travel three hours by road or fly to the airport. Although there is a lot of hype surrounding the Bangalore International Airport, which is coming up at Devanahalli, there are enough and more worries regarding reaching there.

From Electronic City or Whitefield, where most of the IT companies are located, it will take at least three hours to reach by road and if the traffic is bad, then God bless you.

This would mean that a passenger will have to leave for the airport at least four hours in advance in case he has to take a domestic flight.

Private airline companies are aware of this problem and have now mooted introducing the air taxi to make life easier for the people who want to reach the airport, which is around 40 km from the heart of Bangalore.

While the private airline companies will arrange for choppers to ferry passengers to the airport, the Bangalore International Airport Limited has decided to introduce an airline from the existing HAL airport to carry passengers.

It may sound good as one could cover the distance in half an hour (included take off and landing), but the problem is regarding the feasibility of this facility for the common man.

The airline, which will be introduced to ferry passengers, will be premium class and could easily cost Rs 1,500 per head.

The choppers to be introduced by private airline companies will come up to Rs 1,200. Moreover, the chopper facility is available only to elite passengers.

Private airline companies such as Air Deccan say that they would be adding more choppers so that this facility could be catered to more persons.

The question is how many are ready to fly by spending so much money to reach the airport? For the common man who has just started smiling thanks to low cost airlines, it may be back to square one.

At present he would have to spend a maximum of Rs 500 to reach the existing airport from any destination in Bangalore.

Moreover, the travel time too is less when compared to the new airport.

Alright, Bangaloreans themselves had asked for an international airport as the existing one is more of a rat hole.

The emphasis now shifts to the state government, which has to provide for better infrastructure to reach the airport.

In short something has to be done to reach the airport sooner and more peacefully.

The government has to undertake several road works between Whitefield and the new airport in order to reduce travel time.

At present a commuter between Whitefield and the airport has to stop at over 20 traffic signals.

The government says that many of the unnecessary traffic lights will be removed in order to speed up the traffic.

But this is not enough as the roads are pretty congested at peak hours between the city and Devanahalli.

Apart from widening the roads, the government proposes to put up two flyovers so that the traffic congestion eases out.

The government says that there is no need to panic as they have not turned a blind eye to the grievances of the public.

Luxury buses numbering over 30 will be pressed into service. A high speed railway track between the city and the airport will also be set up.

Once the track comes up, the travel time to the airport will be just 25 minutes.

Well all this has been in the mind of the government for quite some time. What is important is whether the government will be able to complete all these projects before 00.01 hours on March 30, 2008, when the first flight takes off from the new Bangalore International Airport?

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore

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