Just curious #1

A short one. Was looking at referrer links when I found this interesting one: traffic statistics for BIAL (New Bangalore Airport) website. See Jan, see Feb. What do you say – is there good excitement or interest around, or numbers seem low? We are talking 40-50K hits per day, though I don’t quite know the difference between hits and visits (only 400-500 per day).

Anyways, I keep hearing BIAL will open either on or ahead of schedule. I just cant wait. Not so much because the new airport excites (not till they get connectivity right – looks like it will be the original expressway before the train, and haven’t heard about the helicopters again). Its more because the Airport Road should get a lot lighter once the airport moves away. That should be some relief to Whitefield commuters!

A relatively light Airport road, and 100% complete Marathahalli bridge – we, the Whitefield/Brookfield residents/commuters, should get that double gift in about an year’s time!

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39 Responses

  1. pranav,
    Wake up..you are dreaming.

    The planning is so bad, there will be more aircrafts and finally the HAL will be used for domastic flights or some thing similar. YOur traffic night mares will continue. Look at any of the cities, the problem is the same. Demand allways outstrips the supply.

    I have had mamy such dreams quashed just by a star hotel, BPO coming up in the vicinity..

  2. HAL has to be shutdown once BIAL starts functioning

    From bialairport.com
    Concession agreement
    No new or existing airport will be permitted to operate as a domestic or international airport within 150 kilometres. The Government of India, represented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, is committed to equal treatment and non-discrimination of all international airports and to renew the bilateral agreement constantly.

  3. mohan:

    that is a real possibility and a scary thought. what if bangalore is connected to many new domestic airports via hal and only the international flights on bial? there will be chaotic scenes as people try to transfer.

    tarle:

    i guess you have a point too, and i assume the agreement that you refer to is an indian one, as that restriction is definitely not international. also, i guess mumbai gets away with the two separate landsides because both airports share the runways, eh?

    – s.b.

  4. that is the agreement that BIAL specifically has with GoI.
    i am curious as to how the airstrips in Bidadi are going to work out.

  5. There could be two agreements in play here. One is that BIAL-GoI thing Tarle mentions, current airport must shut down once BIAL starts. Second is a rule around greenfield or private run airports that no new airport can come up within 55 km radius of one. I could be wrong about some specifics here, but I came to know of this from a discussion around doing new airports in Delhi – Gurgaon and Noida find Delhi airport is too far, they want their own. But this ‘rule’ comes into play.

    There is now a talk of relaxing the second one under certain conditions (source: BS few weeks ago). But either way, Bidadi should be far enough from BIAL.

    About the first one – if connectivity remains an issue, Deccan’s Gopinath and all will certainly push for HAL airport to be kept open for low fare airlines.

  6. You have a point, the international airport should get set soon. We also can avoid chennai going(I mean the transits) for any of our international trip..
    Well , Hosur road is now better after the service road & BMIC stretch, hopefully it should get better when we have the 8 km flyover.. Lets be optimistic.

  7. A blatant lie and false promises made by transporation minister,

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/08/29/stories/2004082912530300.htm

    Karnataka – Bangalore

    Subways planned on Old Madras Road

    By Our Special Correspondent

    BANGALORE, AUG. 28. For people living around Krishnarajapuram and Benigenahalli cross, National Highway 4 (Old Madras Road), may become less risky in the future. This stretch of the highway has seen frequent accidents and pedestrians have been among the casualties.

    The Union Minister of State for Transport and Roads, K.H. Muniyappa, said here on Saturday that a string of pedestrian subways or overbridges would be planned for this section of the highway. The Varthur MLA, A. Krishnappa, earlier said at a reception given to the Union Minister at the Muthumariamman Temple near Krishnarajapuram Bridge that devotees, mostly women, came in large numbers to the temple, especially on Fridays, and it was difficult for them to safely cross the road.

    Safety of pedestrians

    “Right from Benigenahalli to K.R. Puram and beyond, there are industries such as ITI and schools, colleges, and hospitals, and a lot of pedestrian movement; along with widening the highway, the safety of pedestrians should also be thought of,” Mr. Krishnappa said. The reason for bringing Mr. Muniyappa to look at the roads in the area was because of the presence of major international firms in the vicinity and at the International Tech Park on Whitefield Road. “Overseas investors would expect good infrastructure here,” he explained.

    Mr. Muniyappa earlier inspected the road widening work started near Byappanahalli police station. The stretch up to K.R. Puram was to be four-laned, and up to Hoskote and till Ranipet in Tamil Nadu the highway would have six lanes, he said. After inspecting the road under the Benigenahally railway overbridge, he felt the road was too narrow and caused traffic bottlenecks. He would discuss with the railway and highways engineers about opening another vent under the railway track for road traffic. The feasibility of more flyovers or underpasses along the highway would be examined, he promised.

    Highways in State

    The widening and improvement of highways within and passing through the State would include those connecting Goa-Dharwad, Suratkal-Kundapur, Nelamangala-Hassan, and Hoskote-Ranipet. In all these cases, engineering feasibility studies were completed or on the verge of completion and in some cases work was already on.

    Speaking to presspersons later, Mr. Muniyappa said the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Uma Bharti, who evaded 18 warrants to appear in a Hubli court was not fit to hold the high office.

  8. Ashok, Quoting our minister from the story you pasted – “Overseas investors would expect good infrastructure here,”.

    Just tells me this guy still has the old mindset. Mr Muniyappa – don’t talk that language. Domestic investors, and local citizens too expect and deserve good infrastructure. In fact, they, rather us, come first, solve the infrastructure problems for us – that will automatically take care of your so called Overseas investors.

  9. Silkboard,

    Hate to rain on the parade, but me thinks that the airport traffic is probably 10-20% of the total traffic. I think HAL Airport handles about 160 domestic movements a day. At the upper limit it would be about 200. Take an average of 100 passengers/plane and you have about 20000 people. Assuming 1 car per person – adds up to about 20000cars/day. Add 25% for people coming to see off – 25000 cars/day. The PCU/hr for Airport road is about 10000 – that would give about 160,000PCU over 16 hrs. 25000/160000 ~ 15-20%. I had similar hopes but the hard numbers made me realize that things would not improve drastically. BDA&BCC/BMP has opened a can of worms by allowing too much construction and buildings off Airport road.

    the move will reduce traffic, but not by much. Something drastic will need to be done (another road on stilts??) to reduce the madness between the airport and Domlur. I remember when I first started driving (way back in 1988), used to cover the stretch between airport and 100 ft road in about 5 mins and not crossing 50kmph. Now switch the 5 and 50.

    Sorry mate

    Srivathsa

  10. poorva janma fluid dynamics say averages will underestimate the impact on congestion, unless all those 16 hours see the same congestion. Peak hour peak direction estimate is prolly better to understand congestion. Also it impacts the most people.

    PHPDT estimate for airport road in general is approximately 15K to 20K. (I have to lookup that mono report). According to BIAL site, air peak movement is 27 flights. You guys know what is rush hour for air traffic at HAL? It might be worthwhile to understand the overlap of air peak hour with road peak hour. In case they are not the same then we have to see how many flight movement occur during the road rush hours.

    I am not a traffic engineer, I am only an engineer who currently has a nasal congestion, anyway, I really don’t understand what, say, a 15% reduction in PCUs means. According to what I read on the net apparently it is a significant number. In absolute terms, impact on traffic levels might be not be high, but on congestion it could have high impact. What do you think?

  11. @ SB

    Interesting!

    Per my understanding, visits are all individual visits to the site and hits are all the links that I click during my visit. I’d been told this by a network engineer once… hopefully I still remember it correctly.

  12. Srivathsa, I think you forgot to take into account the people who work in the airport and all the supporting services, like the food suppliers etc. But I do agree that this does not make a lot of difference. Its the people who commute to Whitefield from Domlur and surrounding areas who overcrowd the place. I think its only when Namma Metro is ready upto Whitefield that this problem will be resolved.

  13. There are possibilities that HAL might continue as the revenues they earn by leasing out the place is too high a figure. At the same time, connectivity to BIAL needs to be in place. As things stand now when the first flight is ready to take off from BIAL, half of its passengers would still be stuck at Mekhri Circle. We all know how efficient our Govts (read Gov of Kar) are when it comes to creating new infrastructure (a high speed road in this case). The original idea of a Rail link could be accomplished faster than a new road. Also the idea of check-in for your intl flight SBC (Rly Stn) is great. This transit should not take more than 30 mins. It would be better if there are trains to BIAL from Kengeri, Cantt, Yeshwanthpur. And may be create new passenger stations at Whitefield, Marathahalli. The proposed BRT would also provide feeder service. These are simple workable solutions, but people are made to believe that these would not generally happen in one’s lifetime. The pathetic political leadership of our State can be easily blamed for this.

  14. TS,

    Neither am I a traffic engineer. But have an amateur level interest in it. Also am a supply chain/logistics guy – similar concepts.

    Agree that averages hide too much information. But Airport Road seems to resemble on big parking lot most of the time – have not seen a lean hour beyond 8:00 a.m. Observe also the congestion at HAL Main Gate, which should not be the case if most of the traffic headed to the airport.

    PCU = Passenger Car Unit or Passenger Car Equivalent. A measure of traffic density after converting different vehicles to a passenger car equivalent. A two wheeler = 0.5 car, A bus/truck = 2 to 3 cars.

    I hope SB is right and the traffic does clear up. No one happier than me. But the skeptic in me has gotten the better of the optimist.

    I visit the BIAL website every month and check progress. It’s happening quickly.

    I must also say that I am reasonably impressed with HDK. He seems to travel around Karnataka quite a bit. Particularly impressed with his spending the night with a family infected with HIV. I think his political interference has been limited to NICE. The Airport Road flyover is getting close to completion. he managed the cauvery situation quite well – a no win for him.

    More rambling as usual.

    Srivathsa

  15. i’ve always wanted to ask this. how will the checkin @ byapanahalli thingie pan out? BIAL has some 50 odd checkin counters. will these be replicated at byapahalli?
    somebody else (Malaysia?) has this need to look it up one day.

    meanwhile march updates @ bialairport.com

  16. Agree with Christopher there. Besides the passengers, there are those oil tankers, skychef vans, 250 KSTDC cabs that must come back after dropping passengers, people who work at BLR, Cargo traffic for DHL/UPS etc. Once a week VIP trips that lock up the road. I think all this adds to be similar to the passenger traffic alone. My guess is 30% of all traffic on Airport Rd is due to BLR. Add Tarle‘s logic for congestion, BLR move should make Airport road lighter.

    Arun, connectivity problem will definitely get low cost airlines screaming to keep HAL open. If HAL does stay open for some airlines, BIAL will not like that, nor will the regular airlines (Jet Kingfisher) because passengers may prefer HAL over BIAL due to proximity. Can expect legal battles either way. PIL from Gopinath, or objection from BIAL.

    Trains are better viable and easier to implement. I wonder why that idea isn’t moving forward. Really. I think BIAL should have been given the ownership of connectivity as well, that would have saved us all from this upcoming mess.

  17. Sri,
    the key is to develop an appreciation for any metric of IMPROVEMENT that we come up with to measure the traffic and its impact on travel rate. 15% could mean alot, it could mean all the Marathahalli traffic could be travelling at 30kmph/hr on average(currently i would guess it is 10-12 kmph on average). that is a significant improvement. in any world.

    On HDK,
    He deserves a huge pat for the HIV initiative. At the bare minimum it shows that he is sensible enough to understand the nature of HIV. Actually, I am also impressed with Yedi. The man seems to have a way with numbers. HDK, Yedi, Ashok, Horatti, Acharya et al are as good as things can get curently. But if they were to form a group they’ll prolly be on the wrong side of electoral politics.

    Pranav,
    AFAIK, HAL continuing as a ‘passenger’ airport is a non starter. Its a weak wicket legally, and even politically nobody has any stake in pushing for HAL. Even HAL really has more pertinent and profitable endeavours to pursue. (MRO for AI etc)

    Then ofcourse, Albert Brunner is a bigger fish than Gopinath. More importantly, BIAL has a legal basis for this. Gopinath has none, all he’s got are emotive pleas. So any and every court will throw this out.

    It will all happen. Transport lobbies, as you yourselves posted KSTDC lobby will all ensure that the 8 lane monster will be built.

    i am sold on trains wct to roads, but even I am not completely sold on trains with check ins to airport.

  18. To TS’ question on check in

    Hong Kong offers this at HK Central station. You can check in your bags, collect your boarding pass and then board the Airport Express train. This covers the 30ish km to the Airport in about 20 mins. You get off at the airport and then go straight to immigration. My bags made it to Bombay (this was in 1999 and about 3 months after the airport started up) from the city check in.

    The train itself was most impressive. Had personal TV sets and all that. Supersmooth and was doing about 120kmph with 3 stops along the way.

    it’s going all horribly wrong for BKK’s Suvarnabhumi Int Airport. Apparently cracks have emerged on the taxiway and runway. They are moving some of the flights back to the Don Muang airport. Airlines are up in arms. Some of this is politically motivated and the ruling junta want to show Thaksin (former PM) in a bad light and that the new airport was a hotbed of corrupt deals.

    Domestic travellers are going to be hit quite hard. I think taking a train from Bangalore to Madras is the smart option. If I were Lalu, I would work to dangle a 4 hr journey to Madras Central. And with the Golden Quadrilateral done, road travel would be quick and safe. but distant airports seem to be the model the world over. real estate costs probably dictate this.

    Srivathsa

  19. Sri,
    since, you’re the man in know. how does the check in work in HK?
    are there as many check in counters as the airport in the rail station?

    Suvarnabhoomi i’ve heard one too many scary stories. it’s too grandoise to be true anyways. hope BIAL and HIAL don’t go that way.

  20. TS,

    When I went there last (and that was 8 years ago), there were about 3-4 check in counters and only Cathay was offering that service. Now most airlines offer the service. Could not get exact number of check-in counters available. But will get it from a friend who lives in HK and uses the Airport Express quite frequently.

    Trains run every 12 minutes and cover the 34 km in 29 minutes. Cost is HKD100.

    In the airport itself there are 288 check in counters. No I did not count them myself :)

    Singapore on the other hand does not offer this service. you can collect your boarding passes at the city office or even print it out yourself – but you can’t drop bags off.

  21. thanks sri. :)

  22. air side thoughts: i am yet to visit the bial home page (now might be as a good a time as any), but wonder how many runways there actually will be. i have always felt that indian airports are woefully short on properly oriented runways (or maybe it is my lack of knowledge). typically, runways are built allowing for the chaging wind direction (as i understand it, it is easier to land and take off with a headwind than with a tail wind, and it is definitely easier parallel with the wind that against it at any angle).

    land side thoughts: i wonder if city check in is all that it is cracked out to be (from both the customer and the service side). i remember virgin – once upon a time, definitely pre 9-11 – used to promote check in from disney to london. one main advantage of the city check-in – especially in india – is that travellers will be free to travel by any mode once they are free of their bondage … err… baggage. passengers will travel by bus or other public transportation, and so will their bags. there will be fewer cars and taxis on airport road(s). but, what about incidences of baggage mishandling etc? us with our chalta hai attitude might not mind too much, but …

    our airports mostly have night time international flights (though i am pretty sure that this is the case with the westbound flights, this is off the top of my head, and i could be totally, completely wrong); this is convenient in the sense that this portion of the air traffic (on roads) does not compete with the road traffic rush hour. then again, these flights might not be actually carrying that many people. don’t know if the bial airport plans to change the flight timings.

    i believe that having two airports is better than one (the air traffic controllers will need to be more vigilant for sure), devoting one exclusively for domestic traffic and bial for international plus feeder/domestic flights (wonder if that will work or not). again, don’t know whether it would really be doable, legal issues notwithstanding.

    it would really be nice (maybe this is also already planned?) to have a rail link run by the airport that would transport you to the city center (majestic to bial with stops along airport road etc. etc. maybe?).

    now, i am more than just a little curious: why are they called immigration counters when you are leaving?

    – s.b.

  23. Pranav has discussed satellite towns through his blogs. While not publicized as such development around Devanahalli is exactly this, with BIAL being the pivot. All sorts of investments have evolved around the idea of BIAL @ Devanahalli, least of which is about 300 acres on approximately 4km long stretch in the BIAL itself. At a bare minimum the idea of BIAAPA area as a satellite town should itself motivate support for BIAL’s success.

    Isolating BIAL for international flights, with the domestic terminal a good 40kms away, is a sure fire way of killing the BIAL. It will be forced to handle only direct flights to Bangalore from international cities. There’ll be no scope for say NYC-BLR-MAS, NYC-BLR-PNJ, NYC-BLR-CBE etc. This will make BIAL unsustainable, prevent its planned growth and trigger its collapse not to mention investment and development around it and worse BIAL’s closure.

    Connectivity will itself evolve, there exists a 6 lanes highway, another 8 lanes will be done. Train itself will come about because it will finally be realized that access to those 14 lanes is constrained by roads of SBC central, which are not really expandable. I personally hope that connectivity to BIAL is metro based.

  24. some action on what we discussed here.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/story/24862.html

    looks like peaks hours do indeed coincide. 7-10 am & 6-10pm

  25. That’s good. I am delighted to be wrong in this case :).
    However there are three big sources of traffic problems on Airport Road till the airport – Kids Kemp, Leela and Manipal Hospital. Then further up – the bridge at Marathhalli, then the junction with the ORR.

    Not sure why the Metro terminates at Byappanahalli and not at Whitefield. Given that both Whitefield and Electronics City have so many people working there, I would think that some sort of Mass Rapid Transit system needs to be put in place to those two places.

    With the Metro work starting, BMTC will need to rethink the way it operates. They will have to evolve some sort of hub and spoke system around the Metro stations.

    Have you guys seen this website traffic.mapunity.org? Check it out.

  26. thanks S fr that link. pretty cool.
    do you know how hey update the status? do they maintain any data/stats?

    will get back to the other points later.

  27. Check this out guys.

    http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=25849

    About a year to go. Can’t believe that this airport is actually going to happen. Been hearing about it from 1995 (at least).

  28. houdu! i have been checking up for updates ever since the day peppersquare was announced as the website developer. lol.
    still can’t believe it.

    still remember reading about it for the first time in SOM. ramanagara, chennapatna, maddur were all then rumoured to be possible sites. :)

  29. Tarle,

    In reply to your earlier question on the traffic website, I really have no idea how they update the data or how accurate it is.

    Check out this other one – bangalorelive.in. There is a “Traffic” tab. There are live streaming videos of 6 or 7 roads if you go to that tab. Camera position and location could be a bit better – e.g. Hosur Road and Mekhri Circle.

  30. Didn’t know that site Sri. Thanks for the link. Looks like its a Sify operated service.

  31. […] Indian on The real list?tarlesubba on Just curiousneel3 on DTH story: so far so goodSrivathsa on Just curiousVeena on The real […]

  32. I looked at the website http://www.bangalore.in the irony is: I tried to look at the Hosur Road traffic and the it says “Because of heavy traffic you will not be able to watch the live video” :)

  33. That is so ironic AJ, choke choke everywhere!

  34. sri…
    BCP has one cool concept to estimate congestion — they plan to do it by tracking cell signals.

    on bangalore live.
    hahaha that is ironic indeed.

    generally on that bangalorelive thingie i cannot understand what they talk about. too old for all that hip hoping. but what really got me was ucchaara. your regular jimmy angrez would do a better job of pronouncing desi names than these snooty little #@#es. i died from laffing when some girl playing ‘anchor anchor’ kept calling it ‘naama metro’.

    i wrote to them something on the lines of yella ok accent yaake? no reply.

  35. Wonder if the pun was intended by some witty programmer :)

    The accent thingie is uniiversal. See it – rather hear it – in Singapore too. The only interesting part of the bangalorelive thingie for me is the traffic camera. I wish they would place them a bit better.

    Tarle – good concept by BCP. Now to wait for execution. If plans were a measure if progress, Bangalore would be the most progressive city on earth!! :)

  36. I was checking out if I can see how the construction on the Hosur Road (Elevated Expressway, Service Road and 6 laning work) is progressing from the live feed.

  37. While reading today’s online DH, saw this

    http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar302007/city153422007330.asp

    Pranav – hope to get your update on the widened ROB as well as the upgraded stretch.

    Also read that the elevated expressway to E City is progressing well –

    http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar292007/city235562007329.asp

    Just curious – why is that we find it so hard to drive behind another person and have to overtake him/her at the first opportunity?

  38. peppersquare is not capable to handle both projects and employees. It is not a good company

  39. why do you say that mark?

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