Kempegowda International Airport in Karnataka, India, started operations on its second runway on 6 December.

With the opening of the south runway, measuring 4000m long and 45m wide, the airport becomes the first in India to have two parallel runways capable of simultaneous take-offs.

In August, the airport’s operator Bengaluru International Airport Limited announced that the new second runway would open on 5 December.

The runway was originally scheduled to open in September but was delayed to ensure operational readiness.

The Times of India reported that the opening was delayed to 6 December, due to the final clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

BIAL CEO Hari Marar stated: “It is a historic day for us at BLR Airport as we commenced operations on the new runway. Our first runway opened 11 years ago and became a linchpin for the region’s economic development during the last decade.”

The new runway will initially have limited operations that will gradually increase. It will operate with CAT I certification, which is for executing landing operations based on visibility.

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Once operations are stable, the runway will be equipped to handle CAT III B operations for conducting flights in extremely low visibility conditions.

The old runway will now operate as RWY 09L / 27R and the new one as RWY 09R / 27L.

BIAL also built an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station with Crash Fire Tenders to deal with any fire-related emergencies on the South Runway.

Marar added: “The opening of this key infrastructure is the outcome of phenomenal collaboration amongst various stakeholders and implementation of processes and procedures developed through advanced simulations and assessments.

“The new runway will further bolster our vision to transform BLR Airport into the new gateway to India.”