Bangalore airport launch put off to May 11

March 13th, 2008 - 11:01 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Bangalore, March 13 (IANS) The new international airport at Bangalore will begin commercial operations May 11, instead of March 30 as scheduled earlier, due to a delay in putting air traffic control (ATC) services in place. “We have decided to launch the new airport May 11 in response to a communication from the civil aviation ministry to consider a suitable date after May 10 due to delays in air traffic control (ATC) services,” Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL).

The BIAL is the consortium that operates the greenfield airport, christened Bengaluru International Airport.

Expressing disappointment over the delay in launching the Rs.25-billion airport at Devanhalli, about 37 km from India’s silicon hub, the consortium said the delay was beyond its control despite all-out efforts by its employees and partners to launch commercial operations from March 30.

Earlier in the day, the ministry told the consortium as the ATC services would not be available by March 30, opening of the airport would not be possible on the anticipated date.

In a letter to the BIAL, the ministry said while all agencies had confirmed their readiness, state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) had reservation about the availability of ATC services by March 30.

“Delays in the construction of ATC facilities, including the control tower, technical block, office accommodation of AAI personnel and issues like electricity supply, house-keeping, air-conditioning at the ATC facilities, were the reasons for the delay,” the letter pointed out.

As a public-private partnership, BIAL is a consortium of Unique Zurich Airport and Siemens Project Ventures, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), with a combined equity stake of 74 percent and two state promoters - Karnataka State Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (KSIISDC) and AAI, holding the remaining 26 percent stake.

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