Airports on time!

Just thought I will move this comment from Srivathsa up to a post here. So as per this Press Information Bureau release, we have confirmation that BIAL will open on time:

The opening date of the new International Airport at Bangalore, as fixed by M/s. Bangalore International Ltd., (BIAL), is April 2, 2008. This information was given by Shri Praful Patel, Minister for Civil Aviation in the Parliament today.

Not bad at all. Though I always hoped they’d try to beat the deadline to do it a month or so sooner!

On similar note, the new Hyderabad Airport too should open around March 2008. Two big greenfield airports opening at same time, and both trying to be regional or international hubs – certainly exciting, but I hope there will be enough ‘space’ for both of them.


6 Responses

  1. Many a slip between the cup and the lip – so keeping my fingers crossed. I will consider this a success even if the airport opens on July 1,2008. What a journey it has been. I remember the first time I went to China (Jan 1997) I went through Hong Kong and I landed at the old Kai Tak airport; we were talking with Tatas for the airport. The next time I went to HK – Oct 1999, it was at the gleaming new airport. And we were still talking in Bangalore.

    SM Krishna came in 1999 and went in 2004 – still no sign of the start of construction. So much so that this had become the butt of all jokes. So am quite happy that we will actually have a decent airport.

    Most people are shocked out of their wits when they land at the HAL Airport. Is this the great Silicon Valley of Asia?? this sort of airport? I mean even the airports in Cambodia were better – and that country was bombed out of shape only 30 years back. It’s GDP is probably lower than Bangalore’s.

    International and regional hubs – doubtful. Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok are too well entrenched. Singapore alone gets 10m tourists each year. The airport handles about 40 million people each year. We have some way to go.

    What I would like to see is a vision for tourism in Karnataka. It has such a lot to offer (as with any other part of India). Just Hampi alone could attract a million tourists a year if marketed well and then followed up with delivery. This airport for me is the first step in the tourism boom that could follow if managed well. IMHO, tourism is the best global wealth distributor which operates within the laws of market forces.

    Thoughts, comments?

  2. sri,
    you are spot on regarding tourism. It could be a potentially mutually beneficial thing for BIAL and KA. ou are also right on sprucing up of the places themselves.

    on the marketing side. BIAL is the best marketing space for KA(13%) as far as tourism is concerned. i would love to see KA commission a replica of the stone chariot to be placed in the lawns of BIAL. some sculptures. some bylakuppe, badami murals. gommata kambala imagery. mysore arches. contemporary artists. so on.

    image credits mattlogelin @ flickr.

  3. Sri, Tarle, talking of tourism in Karnataka, explain this to me. Look at our country’s west coast. Goa, a big time tourist destination. Kerala, the best marketed tourist destination in our country. And in between, the stretch from Ullal/Mangalore to Karwar, relatively speaking, we got literally nothing! Why? Accessibility problems? Or has the area been preserved on purpose?

  4. Pranav,

    Good question! I don’t think they have been preserved – too good to be true!!! I think the problem lies in the marketing. How many of us know that inside the Bannerghatta National Park there is a beautiful Jungle Lodges resort? Have you seen any advertising for a holiday in Karwar? Would you go there? If yes, why? If not, why not?

    We have to realize that people have plenty of options when it comes to beaches/other tourist spots. Imagine a family planning a vacation. They are either spending their limited money or their limited time or both. Would they likely take a chance or prefer a tried and tested place.

    Not sure if it helps explain anything or if I have been rambling as usual

  5. Srivathsa

    Perfectly right. There is a resort “veerabhoomi” at kushalnagar near madikeri. we happenned to go there while on a tour in our last year of BE. Fantastic place, surrounded by forests, water falls, there is a dam too, also a buddhist temple, and a fine animal reserve park. But it was a very lonely and secluded place, and practically no tourists at all. Two months later, it was showed on a tv channel (etv), and a year later, I couldnt get a reservation soon enough. When I went there, it was quite busy and now an established tourist place.

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