Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru or BLR Airport, has evolved over the years as India’s new gateway. This year marks the 15th anniversary of BLR Airport. What started as a greenfield airport has progressed as one of the fastest-growing and technically advanced airports in the world. Its lush green landscape, seamless travel experience enabled using modern digital processes and its variety of retail and F&B offerings, have made BLR Airport a destination in itself. But what makes BLR Airport truly unique are 15 interesting facts and here’s a look at them:
- BLR Airport: The New Gateway to India
BLR Airport embraces its role as the country’s third busiest airport and South India’s largest airport, linking Bengaluru city to 100 destinations across the globe. With 75 destinations within India and 25 international destinations on its map, this bustling aviation hub recently opened Terminal 2 (T2) which is equipped to handle an additional capacity of 25 million passengers per year. With the opening of T2, BLR Airport now has an overall capacity to handle 50 million passengers per year. While domestic operations have begun at T2, international flights will start operating soon.
- Terminal in a garden
The BLR Airport features an awe-inspiring green landscape around the airport campus and also within Terminal 2. The green expanse in Terminal 2 covers an area of over 1,000 square meters that includes a diverse range of plant species, creating a peaceful and calm atmosphere in the midst of the airport’s hustle and bustle. Terminal 2 is home to over 3,600 plant species, including 180 rare and endangered ones, along with 600 to 800-year-old trees, making it a remarkable wonder.
- BLR Airport’s All-Women Fire Fighting Squad
Kempegowda International Airport is the first airport in India to introduce an all-women Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) squad. As the second airport in Asia to have 14 women firefighters join its ARFF squad, BLR Airport made headlines for its attempt at breaking barriers and gender stereotypes. Hailing from across Karnataka, these women underwent extensive training at Bengaluru Airport and the Airports Authority of India’s Fire Service Training Centre in Kolkata. This trailblazing team of courageous female firefighters’ challenges gender stereotypes, exemplifying empowerment and inclusivity in the firefighting profession. Thriving in a traditionally male-dominated profession, these women serve as an inspiration for aspiring women, paving the way for a more inclusive future.
- Experience the fusion of technology and efficiency in travel
Prepare to be amazed as BLR Airport revolutionizes the passenger experience with groundbreaking innovations that redefine convenience and efficiency. Stay one step ahead to fast-track your journey with self-service check-in kiosks, self-baggage-drop facilities and India’s first automated tray retrieval systems which facilitate faster security checks. Passengers can experience seamless travel with DigiYatra or check-in online effortlessly with the help of the BLR Airport mobile app. Get ready to embark on a travel experience like no other, where technology and innovation takes center stage at BLR Airport.
- World’s First Terminal in Metaverse
Step into a fully immersive, three-dimensional (3D) experience and explore the newly launched Terminal 2 at Kempegowda International Airport with the help of the BLR Metaport. It’s an experience like never before and with this BLR Airport becomes the world’s first airport in the Metaverse. This pioneering concept has not only put India on the world map when it comes to digitally-advanced airports, it also enhances services and provides training opportunities for staff in the future.
- A road built with plastic waste
Kempegowda International Airport has taken a significant step towards sustainability by utilizing plastic waste to build 50 km of polymerized roads using non-degradable and non-reusable plastic waste collected from the city. These roads are not only durable and all-weather resistant but also serve as a catalyst in encouraging people to be conscious of their plastic use.
- South India’s only airport with parallel runways
BLR Airport achieved a historic milestone in 2019 when it inaugurated a second runway – the South runway. Today, both the North and South runways are fully operational and have established BLR Airport as the only airport in South India with parallel runways. The recently renovated North Runway features upgraded lighting and two additional taxiways, leading to reduced aircraft taxiing time at the airport.
The operationalization of the CAT IIIB-equipped South Runway provides BLR Airport with improved infrastructure and greater flexibility to operate both runways during low visibility and challenging weather conditions. These enhancements enable BLR Airport to cater to the increasing demand for air travel and support the growth of Karnataka and India.
- Making Devanahalli water positive
Devanahalli used to be a water-starved area that was inhabited by a large community of villagers who were dealing with a water crisis throughout the year. In the last 15 years, Devanahalli has since undergone a massive transformation to become a thriving community – a change driven by the growth of BLR Airport. In fact, BLR Airport has helped the Devanahalli region become water positive with its sustainable efforts. BLR Airport incorporates a rainwater harvesting system with a 1700-kiloliter storage capacity. Collected from the roofs of both the terminals, rainwater is reused for irrigation and HVAC supply, with any excess directed towards small and large ponds and old wells to replenish the water table. This eco-friendly practice not only helps conserve water but also contributes to the airport’s sustainability efforts.
- Running on solar power
Embracing the power of the sun, BLR Airport has set a shining example by becoming an airport that runs 100% on solar energy. As the largest solar power-generating airport in India, it has transformed 53 acres of its vast expanse into a solar farm, harvesting the radiant energy to meet a substantial portion of its electricity needs. This ambitious initiative not only illuminates the airport but also illuminates the path toward a greener tomorrow. By significantly reducing its carbon footprint, BLR Airport paves the way for inspiring a renewable revolution in the aviation industry.
- A biodiversity hotspot built with bamboo
Did you know that the extent of bamboo used in Terminal 2 is approximately equivalent to the distance between Bengaluru and Mumbai? In addition to the vast expanse of bamboo, the terminal features 620 endemic plant species, making it a microcosm of India’s diverse botanical heritage.
- The Sunflower airport
Kempegowda International Airport is the first and only Sunflower Airport in India. What does this mean? BLR Airport is dedicated to providing comfortable and inclusive travel experience for all passengers, including those with hidden disabilities like mental health issues and other physical conditions that are not evident. With the aid of the Sunflower lanyards and badges, passengers with such hidden disabilities can discreetly seek help from airport staff during their travel. Under the same initiative, BLR Airport has also introduced Braille menu cards at F&B outlets, and a team of staff that is well-versed with sign language to help hearing impaired passengers. Passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) and those on wheelchairs also have facilities to easily access washrooms and clean drinking water fountains.
- Transforming lives through education:
BLR Airport’s commitment to corporate social responsibility is demonstrated through the establishment of the Kempegowda International Airport Foundation (KIAF). KIAF manages five government schools in Devanahalli Taluk of Bengaluru Rural District through an MoU with the Karnataka government. The initiative aims to positively impact the lives of students by providing learning kits, facilitating breakfast, supporting co-curricular activities, and promoting the overall health and well-being of students. Kempegowda International Airport has rebuilt five government schools, refurbished six schools with additional facilities, and upgraded the infrastructure of 21 Anganawadis to ensure a holistic learning experience for the children.
- Art takes centrestage
BLR Airport’s Terminal 2 features 60 artworks by 43 Indian artists from all over India. It’s a one-of-its-kind unique art programme that was initiated for Terminal 2. Through the open call BLR Airport received 300 entries, and eventually 25 artists were shortlisted. In addition to the commissioned work, several exceptional artworks were selected to be part of the art collection that’s displayed across T2. The idea behind this art programme was to make passengers pause and introspect amidst the buzz of an airport.
- The Quad by BLR: the one-stop destination for Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
The Quad by BLR is a unique offering by Kempegowda International Airport . Located just outside Terminal 1 between the departure and arrival gates. The Quad is a destination for shopping, dining, and live entertainment. Whether you are departing from or arriving at BLR Airport, you can stop by for a pint of craft beer or an elaborate meal. The Quad features some of the top F&B brands. You could also catch a live musical performance or go shopping for last-minute travel essentials. Did you know the KFC outlet at BLR Airport has emerged as the highest-selling one among all KFC outlets situated in non-traditional locations across the Indian Subcontinent?
- BLR Airport Emerges as South India’s Premier Destination for the A380 Aircraft
Kempegowda International Airport holds the distinction of being the only airport in South India to accommodate the super-jumbo Emirates A380 flight. This remarkable achievement showcases the airport’s infrastructure capabilities and operational efficiency in handling the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
With its stunning architecture, commitment to sustainability, and passenger-centric amenities, BLR Airport strives to create an extraordinary travel experience for travellers. As it continues to grow and evolve, BLR Airport aims to solidify its position as the new Gateway to India, captivating travellers with its unique offerings.
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