Retain HAL Airport?

Read an article on Deccan Herald about professionals and “aviation experts” asking the HAL Airport to be retained!

I don’t get it. We have signed a contract with BIAL that it will have exclusive operations in Bangalore. There have been brickbats for HAL Airport (mostly fair) and how miserable it is and what a poor image it offers of Bangalore. (Though, on a recent flight back to Singapore, I found the international departure and immigration almost heavenly compared to what it was in 2002). So how is something as miserable now an acceptable proposition?

This is not something that came up overnight (though we sometimes wish for such things :)). We have been talking of Devanahalli for the last 10 years. Why the surprise then? One can argue that the location is not the best. But I think that it can be a factor to pull some investment up north rather than clustering in EC and ITPL. There is land around Yelahanka. Given the rate at which IT companies in Bangalore hire, there would be no dearth of scale to operate another facility.

I am tempted to believe that some of the recent comments by the aviation ministry about the BIAL is driven by lobbying. The budget carriers know that many routes are just not viable anymore. So try and delay the inevitable?

This was seen as a long term solution to Bangalore’s airport issue. There will be short term pain associated with it. If Electronics City folks have a hard time commuting, they will find creative solutions. If Infy could put up a hotel, it can do many things. E.g a mobile office where people can have meetings on the way to the airport, a new campus to the north of the city, a helipad and a helicopter for really important people to save their time.

[note – closing comments on this one as I just posted a very similar one, sorry!]


One Response

  1. Aha, I was planning a very similar post today.
    I too think the timing of Aviation ministry’s concerns isn’t right. Were they sleeping till now?

    update: posted here

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