Travel And Tour World – Tell us something about Bangalore International Airport from the time of its initiation? Tell us something about the airport’s evolution in all these years?
Sanjay Reddy : Moving into our 6th year of operations, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru has serviced around 55 million passengers, since its establishment on May 24, 2008. With this glorious achievement, we are on the cusp of significant developments in our journey as an operational airport.
The journey of the airport over these years has been challenging and a huge learning curve, but Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru has always taken new initiatives, setting benchmarks in airports across the country. This Airport is envisioned to meet the growing aviation needs of the city through the development of a passenger friendly, well operated and financially sound airport.
The airport has also successfully attracted new airlines and in turn, higher passenger numbers; simultaneously, we have been consistent in maintaining as well as improving the facilities. In this time, we have been able to connect the city to over 55 destinations and create a passage for 33 airlines including 7 domestics (including 1 freighter) and 26 international (including 7 freighters) flights, and 319 aircraft movements per day. In terms of operational performance, Traffic figures at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru stood at 12.71 million for 2011-12. In the year 2012-2013, we clocked in 12million passengers. Also, last year on May 13th, we recorded 42,505 passengers in one day, this traffic figure has been the highest ever in Bangalore.
With the number of passengers projected to reach 17-20 million per year by 2017, December 2013 saw the opening of an expanded terminal to enhance customer experience. With the expanded new Terminal, the future looks bright for the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru. The newly renovated terminal features a computer chip like pattern on the roof, an ode to the IT industry. The expanded terminal has 26 boarding gates and 15 aerobridges, increasing the capacity from around 12 million passengers per annum to 17 to 20 million passengers per annum. Service additions include new smoking lounges at the Domestic and International pre-embarkation area as well as the International arrival and colourful chairs adding brightness to the kerb side. With the expansion in the airside, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru will take the take capacity from 42 to 64 Code C stands as well as a Code F stand to facilitate the A380, the world’s largest passenger jet.
Travel And Tour World – Enlighten us about the traffic flow, both in terms of Domestic and international passengers?
Sanjay Reddy: There are 33 airlines that currently operate from this airport, of which 26 are international airlines (including 7 freighters), 7 are domestic airlines (including one freighter). The airport handles over 35,000 passengers per day with an average of 319 air traffic movements per day. It’s also a sign that this is an airport of choice for domestic and international travellers.
Travel And Tour World – What is the main aim of Bangalore International airport and where do you locate yourself in the years to come?
Sanjay Reddy: Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru aims to become the Gateway to South India.Bangalore is a melting pot of sorts; it is vibrant, has a rich culture and has today attracted the world in terms of both business and tourism. Bangalore attracts huge amounts of investment in the fields of Information Technology, machinery, BPO, biotech, medical tourism and educational institutions. The growth of the Information Technology sector has been the major influencing factor in growing international traffic from the city. Aside from this, the city is the country’s IT and BT hub, has a high per capita income, higher percentage of high yield business class traffic than any other Indian Airport, and is increasingly a MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions and Exhibitions) destination due to its excellent weather all year round. All this lends to an interesting passenger profile of 80% business travellers and 20% leisure. We are also working closely with the Karnataka Tourism to promote the region on the global map and its rich culture and heritage. With the expansion of the existing terminal, Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, is now revamping its commercial blueprint to encourage every traveller to take back a memory or memento of South India, where it is strategically located. This is particularly relevant in the Indian aviation context, where, unlike the North, South and West of India that have a single dominant airport, the South has four strong centers. Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru is in an enviable position to enrich their airport experience with the culture and ethos of the four Southern states. Complementing this approach, the Southern flavour will prevail across retail and F&B concepts, including a variety of unique cultural artifacts such as silk products, handicrafts, Ayurveda, coffee and spices, sandalwood, and cuisine from the four states.
Travel And Tour World – Ranking among some of the well-known airports in the world what makes Bangalore International Airport different?
Sanjay Reddy: Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru has achieved excellence through a three-fold commitment.
Befitting the IT city that we represent, we have endeavoured to leverage the best of technology for an efficient, award-winning airport experience to our partners and passengers. We have implemented various solutions to measure and provide valuable insights into the key airport performance indicators, efficiency of Airport processes and services and takes informed decisions. This includes Smart Airport Framework for Business collaboration along with IBM that will create a robust SMART IT framework that will easily enable build of new interfaces and deploy ‘subscription’ services to ‘consume’ data in the databus. SMART Airport solutions to enhance Passengers experiences like Mobile check-in and Self-Boarding, Self-Bag drop to address changing lifestyle and expectations of today’s traveler leveraging today’s technology. Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Tool with End user Business Intelligence that will enable near real time capture of all operational performance metrics presented to all partners to sensitize them and take effective course corrections and resource allocation.
Next, we have demonstrated a strong commitment to the region that we serve. We pioneered the airport taxi concept in India to ensure safe, seamless travel to and from the airport and a high-quality experience extending beyond the airport premises, to the entire journey. We regularly conduct free eye checkup camps for drivers to further improve safety. Apart from this, we organize blood donation drives, job fairs and extend our fire services to the surrounding areas.
Our third focus has been on being an accurate and proud representative of the region. We are the traveller’s first touchpoint and last memory of the city and state. This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the best music, arts, crafts and food of the region. We organize music and cultural festivals on our premises and provide a platform for artisans to demonstrate their works to global travellers. Our F&B options have been carefully curated to include a selection from not only Karnataka, but all South Indian states, to present an authentic, gourmet experience of local delicacies, including forgotten recipes that have received a new lease of life. Passengers can take home memories of South India in the form of toys, silks and handicrafts, thus taking the airport to the world. In fact, we have also partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to present bespoke coffee experiences, called Kaapi Trail, to take Karnataka coffee to the world.
Many of these initiatives have pioneered a new way of looking at airports and provide a sensory experience that gives the passenger the satisfaction of having enjoyed a uniquely local, yet world-class airport.
Travel And Tour World – What are the new techniques and security measures undertaken by you to ensure safety to the travellers? How do you propose to handle pressure at the time of emergencies?
Sanjay Reddy: Just like our quality and efficiency parameters, our safety standards too are high. We understand that airports and airlines the world over have become keen targets of threats. To add to this the increasing volume of air traffic, and maintaining a high-level of security becomes essential. At Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, we have adopted effective and consistent measures to create a secure environment both at the airport and during the flight. While making air travel easy and comfortable, we take great care to ensure it’s also safe. Our anti-hijacking and anti-sabotage measures are mandated by the National Civil Aviation Security Programme. The guidelines are issued by the appropriate authority for civil aviation security in India.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) controls the airport security. Established in 1969 with just three battalions, the CISF – India’s premier organisation under the Ministry of Home Affairs – was to provide integrated security cover to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Today this multi-skilled security agency, with a force of over 1,12,000, provides security to nuclear installations, space establishments, airports, seaports, power plants, sensitive government buildings, and heritage monuments.
The CISF was inducted at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru on May 14, 2008, and is headed by a Senior Commandant. In keeping with our security procedures, they use the latest technology in screening and detection for frisking passengers and screening hand baggage, ensuring the safety of our passengers.