Bengaluru: The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) here recorded an all-time monthly high of 2.15 million passengers in December, the single highest traffic month for any airport in south India.
Consistently clocking such high numbers, KIA achieved an overall traffic growth of 22.5% over the previous year.
Annual traffic figures for 2016 stood at 22.18 million passengers. The data, released by the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) on Wednesday, also shows that on an average 60,000 passengers travel through the airport every day.
As many as 75,515 travelers checked into KIA on a record day in December. Earlier in the year, the airport welcomed its 100 millionth passenger.
Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) witnessed an increase of 19.9%. The airport, launched in May 2008, currently connects 45 airlines to 66 destinations in India and abroad. BIAL officials attributed the rising numbers to an expanding aviation market and a perceptible growth in leisure travel.
Last year, the growth was positive for both domestic (25.5%) and international passenger numbers (9%). A total of 18.62 million domestic and 3.56 million international passengers used KIA for air commute. The airport continued its position as the third largest in the country.
Among domestic connections, the routes from KIA to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai were the busiest in 2016. The busiest international routes were those linking KIA to Dubai, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur and Frankfurt.
Cargo operations at KIA recorded an overall growth of 9.4%. In November last year, the airport handled a total of 2 million metric tonnes of cargo, another monthly record since KIA began operations.
BIAL reiterated that work on the airport’s second terminal, T2, will commence this year.
Designed by American architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), T2 will be built in two phases. “The first phase will cater to 25 million passengers annually (MPA) and the second phase will add another 20 million passenger capacity. When completed, T2 will cater to 45 MPA,” the traffic report said.
The current terminal, T1, is now being expanded to accommodate the annual traffic growth of 22.5%.
Once the entire expansion work is completed, the combined capacity of T1 and T2 will be about 65 MPA.
The airport will get a second runway by September 2019, the annual traffic report said. The current runway is being upgraded with two Rapid Exit Taxiways (RET) to increase its capacity. Currently, the runway has the capability of handling 34 ATMs per hour.
The additional RETs could increase the ATM capacity to 44 per hour. Earthworks for the second runway commenced in February 2016.
The new runway will have CAT III B Instrument Landing System for better visibility during fog and will cater to all type of aircraft, including A380, in all weather conditions.