The ceiling at the entrance, check-in and security area is installed with hanging planted bells. Credit: BIAL
Phase one of the new terminal became operational in January 2023. Credit: BIAL.
The T2 provides a unique experience for passengers from arrival into the airport to boarding the flight. Credit: BIAL.
The new garden terminal of the Kempegowda airport spans across 255,000m². Credit: BIAL.

Terminal 2 (T2) is a garden terminal that was built in phases at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, to accommodate the increasing passenger traffic. The airport is one of the biggest airports in India.

Operated by Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL), it is claimed to be India’s first greenfield airport terminal to be built under a public-private partnership.

Construction of the terminal began in 2019. Located on the north-eastern side of Terminal 1 (T1), the T2 was inaugurated in November 2022. Domestic operations at the terminal officially started in January 2023, with regional airline Star Air becoming the first to operate from the terminal.

AirAsia India shifted all domestic operations to T2 in February 2023, with more domestic airlines expected to follow suit. International airlines are expected to start operations from the terminal over the next few months.

The new terminal is expected to serve approximately 25 million passengers a year.

Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2 design details

The terminal’s design is inspired by Bengaluru’s popularity as a ‘Garden City’.

The terminal is spread across four levels. The first phase has a built-up area of 255,661m². Passengers have a unique experience as they travel through more than 10,000m² of green walls, hanging gardens and outdoor gardens.

The terminal features a large indoor garden with rammed-earth walls and waterfalls, which acts as a gateway into the densely landscaped retail area. The ceiling at the entrance, check-in and security area features hanging planted bells.

The three-storeyed forest belt, which is located between the main terminal building and the boarding gates, offers a unique outdoor experience for arriving and departing passengers. It is well connected to the shopping area. The forest belt is viewable from all main indoor spaces. An open call was issued in August 2022 to submit proposals for a 20m-high monumental sculpture at the forest belt area.

The walls of the terminal are made of brick while the floors feature natural terrazzo and an engineered bamboo ceiling.

Clad in engineered bamboo, the interiors of the terminal provide a contemporary yet classic look and feel.

An expansive outdoor garden built under the project is arranged around a lagoon to serve as a nursery for the maintenance of plants, with connection to T1 and the airport hotel through elevated walkways.

The lagoon takes rainwater, which can be reused in greywater processes, including cooling and irrigation. Advanced technology and cutting-edge tools to enhance airport operations are also installed in the terminal.

Each component of the terminal incorporates natural and man-made elements, which enhance the passenger experience.

The T2 design incorporates artwork to reflect the culture and heritage of Karnataka. Naurasa is the central theme that unites all the 60 installed artworks by 43 artists.

Features and facilities at Kempegowda International Airport

Phase one of T2 has 95 check-in solutions, 22 contact gates, 15 bus gates and 17 security check lanes.

The ground floor is dedicated to all arrivals, while the departures area is located on the first floor.

The terminal enables faster check-ins and features security check areas that provide seamless navigation. Spanning two levels, the domestic and international retail and lounge areas are designed to provide scenic views of the greenery within and outside the terminal building.

India-based telecommunications service provider Bharti Airtel launched its Airtel 5G Plus services at the new terminal in November 2022, making the Bengaluru airport the country’s first to offer 5G connectivity.

The project also includes the construction of a multimodal transportation, which also covers metro rail, and a multi-level parking lot.

The use of advanced technologies and systems enables an easy check-in, faster security check and comfortable boarding, providing a seamless experience for passengers from entry into the airport to boarding the flight.

The first phase of the BLR Metaport was launched in December 2022, making T2 one of the world’s first terminals that can be experienced in the metaverse.

BIAL developed the BLR Metaport in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Polygon to provide an immersive, three-dimensional virtual experience of T2. Passengers and general public can visit the BLR Metaport website to virtually tour and navigate the new terminal.

Baggage handling system

BEUMER Group, an international manufacturer of intralogistic solutions, was chosen to provide an end-to-end baggage handling system for the T2 in October 2019.

The company provided a baggage handling system with a high-speed tilt-tray sorter and a capacity of 4,500 baggage items per hour.

Sustainability at Kempegowda International Airport

The green landscape surrounding the terminal comprises 620 endemic plants, 150 palm species, more than 3,600 plant species, 7,700 transplanted trees, 96 lotus species, 100 varieties of lilies, 180 rare, endangered and threatened species and ten ecological habitats.

The outdoor garden maintains a microclimate with temperatures two to three degrees lower than its surroundings.

The gardens and forest cover ensure clean air, while solar panels and daylight harvesting are estimated to help the terminal achieve 24.9% energy savings. The terminal’s environmental footprint is also reduced thanks to rainwater harvesting and six major rainwater-fed ponds with 413 million litres of water that will cater to the airport’s needs.

Treated reverse osmosis water is used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

The T2 received the Platinum LEED rating from the US Green Building Council. The planned integrated solid waste management plant is expected to contribute to the airport’s zero waste to landfill ambition by converting biodegradable waste to fuel and manure.

Financing the construction of T2

The airport is investing Rs133.5bn ($1.88bn) in the construction of T2, which will include an additional runway and other related infrastructure projects. The investment in the first phase of the terminal was Rs50bn ($615.38m).

BIAL secured Rs102.06bn ($1.44bn) through a group of banks that includes State Bank of India and Axis Bank.

Kempegowda International Airport contractors

BIAL awarded a Rs30.36bn ($413m) contract to L&T’s Buildings & Factories business for the T2 construction in October 2018. The agreement includes the design, procurement, engineering, construction, testing and operations of T2.

The US-based architecture practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) was engaged to provide the terminal design.

Turner Construction was appointed to provide project management services. Moso International provided bamboo tubes for indoors and outdoors, ceilings and pillars.

Kalzip, a company based in Germany, provided roof facade profiles for the T2 project.

JCDecaux India, a subsidiary of global outdoor advertising company JCDecaux, was awarded a 12-year contract in February 2023 to advertise inside and outside the airport. The company has been operating the advertising space in T1 since 2008. The new contract will enable the company to extend its services to T2.

Unisys, a global information technology company, was contracted in August 2019 to integrate and manage all information technology (IT) and non-IT systems for phase one of T2.

Dufry received a contract in November 2022 to operate and manage duty free outlets at T2 for 15 years. The company will operate the new outlets in a 50:50 joint venture with BIAL.

BIAL selected Oracle Aconex project collaboration and Primavera P6 enterprise project portfolio management to manage large-scale programmes and project planning for the T2 and other infrastructure projects at the airport. The technology solutions helped digitalise the construction document collaboration process, enabling personnel to monitor issues and defects using handheld devices. Oracle’s Primavera P6 provided an effective and robust scheduler to support project planning and scheduling.

Other developments at Kempegowda airport

A south runway measuring 4,000m x 45m became operational in December 2019 for use in independent mixed-mode operations, including take-off and landing.

BIAL and InterGlobe Aviation signed a 20-year agreement to sub-lease land for building a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility over 13,000m2. The MRO, which became operational in November 2022, can accommodate two narrow-body aircraft.

The facility also has support infrastructure, which includes a quick engine change shop warehouse and engineering offices.

Workers are extending the existing 1.4km-long main access road from four to five lanes and a secondary road to the cargo terminals to four lanes. Furthermore, there will also be an expansion of Trumpet interchange.