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The High court has NOT "asked all parties to modify the agreement", but has "suggested that all parties negotiate". It is a suggestion that can either be taken or discarded. And the parties can negotiate and decide not to change the agreement too.

And no agreement is a running document. It is a fixed, that is why it is called an agreement. You don't change it as and when one party wants it. The agreement was signed for 25 years and it is best that they stick to it.
 

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BIAL is a joint consortium between Govt of Karnataka and private parties. HAL is central govt. owned. It would make sense for the govt of karnataka to push for BIAL as the main airport. All revenues collected would be for the benefit of expansion of the greenfield airport. The bigger picture is for Bluru to become a premium destination and with a worldwide name recognition this goal isn't too far off. The main objective should be to have world beating infra and services, revenue and other things would follow. Fast and efficient highways, railways etc should solve the distance issue of BIAL.
 

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When Government built airports in the country like Mumbai, Delhi etc., did they charge UDF from passengers? No. So you consider Government money as taken for granted whereas you support private developers cause for earning through UDF. Is not that double standards?
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The government built airports did not come free for sure. It partly came from taxes paid by the general public and partly by foreign travel taxes (Rs 500?; somebody correct me if I am wrong) that we were paying at least till 2004 (http://www.cbec.gov.in/ftt/notfns/ftt-notfns-idx.htm) and other sources. Only difference is BIAL is calling it UDF and only passengers using the airport are paying for it. For the past 50 odd years taxes were being collected by the government, where are the returns;where is the infrastructure? So, I am not sure I understand where the double standard is? Here we are getting some infrastructure and we are paying for it. How much to pay is a completely different issue and I think it should be some proportion based system depending on travel zone origination/destination. Let's say Zone 1 within Karnataka, Zone 2 within south India, Zone 3 other parts of India, Zone 4 SAARC countries etc. and UDF can be fixed for each zone.

For your information, IAF has a full fledged base at Yelahanka and they base their fighters and training aircrafts there. As Iam aware, HAL airport is used for testing of some aircrafts being developed only and donot consume much time.

Whereas Government has heavily invested in HAL airport over past years to extend the runway length to B747 capability and terminal upgradations on both domestic & international. Hence, HAL airport should be put to maximum use for commercial aircraft considering the huge investments done by Government on HAL airport. Government money is nothing but yours and mine tax money included, do you want it to go waste?
That should have been thought of before development of the new airport began. And, secondly nobody is talking about tearing up the runway and shutting down the airport completely. The airport can be put to use a few years down the lane as necessary once BIAL is established. The root of the issue - good transportation infrastructure - needs to be tackled.
 

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The government also made more than Rs 100 cr every year for last few years from HAL airport. Where did that money go? The existing HAL airport was severely capacity constrained and there was nothing done to improve them.

‘No domestic user fee for 3 months in Bangalore airport’

Bangalore, April 30 Bangalore International Airport Ltd has relented to requests and fully exempted domestic passengers from levy of a user development fee for the first three months of operation.

BIAL announced its decision here on Tuesday after a meeting in Delhi between BIAL’s CEO, the Minister and officials of Civil Aviation Ministry and the State Government. International passengers, however, are to pay Rs 955 plus tax as proposed earlier.

The meeting was held on the advice of the Karnataka High Court on April 16 to reconsider the twin issues: the retaining of the HAL airport and the levy of user fee on domestic passengers.

On demands to keep the HAL airport running, BIAL maintained its stand on having one operational airport. “We have taken note of the suggestions made by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and have exchanged our views on the importance of having a single aviation platform. Further discussion on this issue will be held in the next meeting scheduled on May 12.”

About the user fee concession, BIAL said, “We have agreed with the suggestion made by the Ministry to have Rs 955 plus tax for every embarking international passenger and no UDF for embarking domestic passenger for a period of three months after the airport opening date.”

The final level of the fee is to be decided later. “The Ministry is working on a guideline for UDF and the final negotiations will be held once this guideline as well as the final audited cost of the BIAL project [are] ascertained,” the statement said.
REASON FOR DELAY

The reason for delaying the airport opening has not been spelt out. Was the stalling for the second time based on reasons of readiness of the Devanahalli airport? Was it a political decision in the midst of the Assembly elections? Or was it due to the contentions on the HAL airport and the user fee?

It was for all these reasons put together, an official present at the meeting said. “It has been felt that the closure of the HAL airport at this juncture might have an influence on the elections.”


“Today’s meeting was called mainly to discuss the two issues of retaining the HAL airport and the UDF as per the High Court directive. We have had the first round of talks today and we will hold the second round [on May 12] after the elections in Bangalore” are over on May 10, the official said.

The airport was first planned to open on March 30 but was stalled on the grounds that the air traffic control system was not ready in time and its staff needed time to train.
So there was no need to postpone the opening of BIAL, but they thought that if BIAL is opened, HAL will have to close, and that might influence voters against congress. SO they decided to postpone it.
 

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:blahblah: :blahblah: Too many opinions in this thread. opinions are like A** hole. Everyone's got one! I am getting to see many people's A**holes here :blahblah: :blahblah:

:deadthrea

:wallbash: :wallbash: Its giving me headache to read never ending arguments and opinions :wallbash: :wallbash:

:deadthrea

Post more of intersting news, pictures, facts and figures of both BIAL and HAL airports please

:bash::bash::bash::bash:
:sleepy:
 

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The government also made more than Rs 100 cr every year for last few years from HAL airport. Where did that money go? The existing HAL airport was severely capacity constrained and there was nothing done to improve them.

‘No domestic user fee for 3 months in Bangalore airport’



So there was no need to postpone the opening of BIAL, but they thought that if BIAL is opened, HAL will have to close, and that might influence voters against congress. SO they decided to postpone it.

Come on kannadigas ... teach congress a lesson now and prove that either way congress is to lose the polls for causing delay in opening a worldclass airport by voting against congress ... this is nothing but political **** ...
 

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If the judgement is so good, then why are they not implementing the same to Hyderabad?
In Hyderabad present traffic is 6 million only with reasonable growth and the new Rajiv Gandhi airport present capacity & future plans seemingly can handle this growth. So there is no need to think of reopening Begumpet now.

Whereas in Bangalore, the annual traffic growth is much much more than BIAL had predicted & constructed and BIAL capacity growth plans are grossly inadequate to handle this explosive growth in passenger traffic, whatever lame excuses BIAL may say now. BIAL tried to hide many such facts from the public for 3 years till 2-3 months back when they started slowly revealing the facts but too late by then. So it was BIAL itself who spoiled the concession agreement for closing HAL airport. Under these circumstances, instead of allowing BIAL to again cover up the capacity constraints under sheets as they did before, this time the public, courts and government intervened to continue HAL airport.

Even with HAL airport continuing, BIAL is still going to operate full capacity as it planned and revenues more than it estimated. All this due to the explosive growth in passenger traffic in Bangalore that has stunned all including BIAL though they never admitted so far in public.


The High court has NOT "asked all parties to modify the agreement", but has "suggested that all parties negotiate". It is a suggestion that can either be taken or discarded. And the parties can negotiate and decide not to change the agreement too.

And no agreement is a running document. It is a fixed, that is why it is called an agreement. You don't change it as and when one party wants it. The agreement was signed for 25 years and it is best that they stick to it.
For your info, the court never gives any casual or free advice to parties concerned. The court hours are valuable and limited. When it gives directions, it really is meant to obey. And there is the next hearing on June, 2008.
People who are in the legal field know this very well and hence the meeting conducted at Delhi.

No long term agreements are fixed as you say. Even the BIAL agreement was modified once. So why do you want to raise this an issue here?
 

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Let the BIAL airport first open and then we will talk of capacities. BIAL has already started planning for 2nd phase. But for that to happen, the govt has to act within the contract framework. people area talking as though the capacity of BIAL and HAL are the same. Let the airport first open, and if it is not sufficient, HAL can be reopened. I doubt whether more than a handful of posters here have even visited BIAL. And among the visitors, most of them have already said that it is much bigger than HAL. So why are people talking as though the airport will be overcrowded from day 1?

Agreements can be modified if both parties want it. One party cannot try to force change in the agreement.

When the court says it is a suggestion, it remains just that, a suggestion. An order is different from a suggestion. And BIAL and MoCA has already compiled with the suggestion. They have discussed the option of keeping HAL airport open, and they might not decide to, but that doesn't mean it is against high court order. As per the HC suggestion, they met, discussed and decided not to keep HAL airport open or keep it open for flights below 50 seat capacity.
 

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read what Mr. Brunner said today ... BIAL finally opened its mouth to answer all questions, read it thoroughly and then we can come back n bicker :D

http://www.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/144-we-can-handle-all-the-traffic-bials-brunner

Good interview with BIAL. Some thoughts to his points from the interview.

Mr.Brunner sees Bangalore to emerge as regional aviation hub of South India. I perfectly agree with his vision and I feel there should be more. Why just limit BIAL to be only hub of South India? After Mumbai and Delhi, Bangalore's BIAL should strive to become the third aviation hub of India itself. Passenger traffic data supports Bangalore in this front.

He said that for seamless domestic/international traffic, single aviation platform preferred. Well, I differ in that. I still feel considering the kind of passenger traffic segments in Indian market - low fare/no frills passenger traffic and normal fare/full service passenger traffic, two airports functioning will be better than one airport. All through ticket/transit passengers and normal fare passengers may be allowed through BIAL. HAL airport may cater to only a pre-determined number of low fare/no frills passengers originating from or terminating into Bangalore.

He also admitted that capacity of BIAL is 11-12 million against projected traffic of 13.2million in 2008-09. This may most likely mean that peak hour slots are already fully booked at BIAL and only non-peak hour slots may be left out in future. This again clearly points to retention of HAL airport where peak hour slots can be conveniently used at both the airports.
 

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Let the airport first open, and if it is not sufficient, HAL can be reopened. So why are people talking as though the airport will be overcrowded from day 1?
Sorry, dude I feel it should be the other way. Public interest is number one priority for any government or courts. It may be recalled from past experience that BIAL is not transparent to public, they hide more facts than they reveal to public. Hence for public interest, let HAL airport remain as long as it is needed and make BIAL honestly accountable to public. Once public gets required confidence by using BIAL airport with regard to passenger capacity, infrastructure capability, cargo facilities and road/rail/metro connectivity to BIAL established, then we can all think of closing down HAL airport unanimously.

Till then, May 29, 2008 is opening date for BIAL and business as usual at HAL airport.

Agreements can be modified if both parties want it. One party cannot try to force change in the agreement.
Similary, please be aware BIAL is meant for not some private few people but the whole public in large itself. Public cannot be inconvenienced on any front due to mistakes committed by intention or lack of foresight while signing the agreement. Hence, if protecting public interest demands modification of any agreement, it will happen so.
 

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BIAL should be firm on this, resolve the matter now or take the matter to the supreme court, bring the IATA if possible into this and expose the corrupt system to the world.
Then we can have a halt to all such foreign plunder(because we would have driven away all plunderers) and the good old robust AAI will have a monopoly for the next 50 years and keeping people happy and taking care of their priorities rather than that of businesses - like MPVP says(lets believe him).
Closed door economy is the best for India. Like the wise people say- why spend billions on fancy airports- we should take care of the people first(foreigners will only rob the people) - the right people for India if at all theres any private investment are 'honest to the core' people like Ambani who have never stolen a paisa from the common man, who have discouraged corruption. Look at West Bengal- how happy the people are there. Why dont the other states learn from West Bengal?. If only we had 'honest to the core politicians' like Jyoti Basu in each state we would have a very happy and prosperous India.
 

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Then we can have a halt to all such foreign plunder and the good old robust AAI will have a monopoly for the next 50 years and keeping people happy and taking care of their priorities rather than that of businesses - like MPVP says(lets believe him).
Closed door economy is the best for India. Like the wise people say- why spend billions on fancy airports- we should take care of the people first(foreigners will only rob the people) - the right people for India if at all theres any private investment are 'honest to the core' people like Ambani
Iam a supporter of open economy. All possible support should be provided to foreign investors to ramp up operations in a positive way. This maynot mean that we have to sacrifice or close down our own profitable working public assets to enhance the investor's profitability further. I dont think any other country would do such a thing for foreign investment either. I still support BIAL for their good job in bringing up the airport in time to meet additional capacity and against closing down HAL airport because it is a profitable asset.

Allowing private monopoly in airport could bring in more nightmares than the public sector inefficiencies that we have been seeing enough and fed up in the past.
 

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He also admitted that capacity of BIAL is 11-12 million against projected traffic of 13.2million in 2008-09. This may most likely mean that peak hour slots are already fully booked at BIAL and only non-peak hour slots may be left out in future. This again clearly points to retention of HAL airport where peak hour slots can be conveniently used at both the airports.
HAL and BIAL both have only one runway, so the number of peak hour slots remain the same :bash:

Quick question about 'what-ifs' ... HC 'suggested' the parties meet n talk ... MoCA/AAI n BIAL met and talked ... Assuming Govt wants to amend the CA and BIAL doesn't .. what will be next ? Govt will deny/delay license until BIAL agrees to amend the CA .. blackmailing by the highest authority in a nation ?!? Legal ???

BIAL hasn't been transparent until its too late .. then why can't Govt of India come out transparent now and say that it's the damn politics causing the airport delay ?!?

I believe going legal is the last option that BIAL thought of ...

man, our country sux ... first it was Dabhol and now its BIAL ...
 

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mpvp said:
Sorry, dude I feel it should be the other way. Public interest is number one priority for any government or courts. It may be recalled from past experience that BIAL is not transparent to public, they hide more facts than they reveal to public. Hence for public interest, let HAL airport remain as long as it is needed and make BIAL honestly accountable to public. Once public gets required confidence by using BIAL airport with regard to passenger capacity, infrastructure capability, cargo facilities and road/rail/metro connectivity to BIAL established, then we can all think of closing down HAL airport unanimously.
When was BIAL not transparent? Don't forget that AAI and Karnataka government too have 13% stake in the airport and are on the board of the company. It is not like BIAL is scamming anyone. The data they initially planned on was approved by the government and matched the government's projection. Your argument is "guilty unless proven innocent". Have you been to the BIAL airport? How do you know it won't handle current capacity? All people who have been to the airport and posted here have said that it is quite big compared to HAL airport and has all adequate infrastructure. Connectivity is not BIAL's responsibility.


mpvp said:
Similary, please be aware BIAL is meant for not some private few people but the whole public in large itself. Public cannot be inconvenienced on any front due to mistakes committed by intention or lack of foresight while signing the agreement. Hence, if protecting public interest demands modification of any agreement, it will happen so.
Everything was done in a transparent manner. When the RFPs were floated, they mentioned that existing airports will be closed down in 150km radius except for mysore airport. The RFP said that the private operators can charge UDF. It is the same in hyderabad, mumbai and Delhi too. What were all these people doing then? Sleeping? Hadn't these people heard of Devanahalli and that it was 35 kms from center of the city? Why did everyone remain silent then? These people were silent when it mattered and now shouting as though BIAL and government fooled them. You are accusing the government of not having foresight, but why didn't you or any of those clamouring for not closing down HAL airport have any foresight? Bangalore traffic is not so big as to have two airports. Even big cities like Singapore, Kaula Lampur etc have just one airport.
 

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In Hyderabad present traffic is 6 million only with reasonable growth and the new Rajiv Gandhi airport present capacity & future plans seemingly can handle this growth. So there is no need to think of reopening Begumpet now.

Whereas in Bangalore, the annual traffic growth is much much more than BIAL had predicted & constructed and BIAL capacity growth plans are grossly inadequate to handle this explosive growth in passenger traffic, whatever lame excuses BIAL may say now. BIAL tried to hide many such facts from the public for 3 years till 2-3 months back when they started slowly revealing the facts but too late by then. So it was BIAL itself who spoiled the concession agreement for closing HAL airport. Under these circumstances, instead of allowing BIAL to again cover up the capacity constraints under sheets as they did before, this time the public, courts and government intervened to continue HAL airport.

Even with HAL airport continuing, BIAL is still going to operate full capacity as it planned and revenues more than it estimated. All this due to the explosive growth in passenger traffic in Bangalore that has stunned all including BIAL though they never admitted so far in public.
We can handle all the traffic : BIAL's Brunner
http://www.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/144-we-can-handle-all-the-traffic-bials-brunner
Much is being said and heard about the difficulties that the new Bangalore airport (Bangalore International Airport Limited - BIAL) is likely to impose on the citizens of Bangalore. A few days ago, the High Court of Karnataka weighed in on a PIL and recommended that the government and BIAL renegotiate the original agreement, with particular reference to the steep user charges and on the option of keeping HAL airport open.

In this exclusive interview to Samuel Jacob of Citizen Matters over email, BIAL CEO Albert Brunner responds to a number of questions. Even as we publish this interview, talks between the central government (Ministry of Civil Aviation) and BIAL are in progress. The issue is likely to see more developments over the coming weeks.

Interview with BIAL CEO Albert Brunner

Is the new airport scheduled to start operations in May?

The airport is completed and we are ready for opening it at any date in May. The opening date has to be confirmed by the Ministry.

What has been the feedback from various airlines on the new Infrastructure? Are there any concerns you have had to work on?

Many people from various airlines have visited the new airport. We have received a lot of positive, even enthusiastic feedback. For all of them the infrastructure at the new airport comes as a long-sought change as it is efficient and at par with international standards.


We also received positive feedbacks from the airlines as well as the pilots on the public trial day held on March 2008. The pilots of the two aircrafts (Kingfisher and Deccan Airlines) that participated in the flight trials said that the operating surface of the runway is smooth and it has good gripping power on the aircraft. They commented that the number of exit ways to the apron will allow aircrafts to exit quickly and will bring down delays caused due to aircrafts taxing to and from the runway.

Passenger traffic for 2008-09 at Bangalore is projected at 13.2 million passengers. What would BIAL's traffic handling capacity for the same period be (in millions)?

A terminal is not designed to an annual capacity, but to a peak hour demand. Under the present traffic scenario, BIAL can easily handle the traffic for the next 2-3 years. During this time we want to realize the next expansion. Speaking of the future, the master plan of the new Bangalore International Airport has been developed to fulfil the need of an operationally efficient and passenger friendly airport for Bangalore. It ensures that the size and capacity of the airport facilities can be gradually expanded based on the passenger and cargo growth. The land at our disposal allows us to develop the airport up to a capacity of approximately 40 to 50 million passengers a year.

So what is the peak-hour demand that BIAL can cater to?

We can accommodate a peak hour demand of 2,730 passengers. Unlike HAL, the rapid exits on our runway make it possible for us to handle one flight every two minutes. HAL was designed for a traffic of 3 million and ended up handling 10 million currently. The new airport is designed for 11 million to 12 million passengers, we can easily handle the current demand. Moreover, we operate 24 hours round the clock.

Traffic projections for the BIAL airport were much lower when the deal was signed. (The current scenario is different -- there has been an explosion in traffic.) Would you agree that this forms a basis for reworking the deal so that the government lets HAL carry select traffic for a mutually agreed upon period? If not, why not?

Yes, when the project was designed initially, we had anticipated a traffic volume of approximately 5 m passengers in the first year of the operation. However, this figure was already reached by the time we started construction. But we took up this big challenge to significantly increase the project which was already under construction and did not jeopardize the initial airport opening date. Completing the redesigned project within the original time period of 30 months from the time the construction began became more challenging, but we ensured that when we opened for commercial operations, we would be equipped to handle the domestic and international air traffic from Bangalore.

Commenting on the second part of your question, Bangalore needs a single aviation platform for both domestic and international traffic, to allow seamless transfer between domestic and international flights for passengers, cargo and efficient airline operations. All successful aviation hubs in Asia (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul) have developed out of such a single platform. Examples cited where a city has several airports (New York, London) have above 100 million passengers, compared to the 10 million of Bangalore.

BIAL is in discussions with major carriers in India to base their domestic and international operations at the airport. Once the new airport is operational, we are confident that the connections to Far East, Europe and even America will be improved. Since Bangalore has a strong business market and ideal location, the new airport will serve as a regional hub for South India attracting investments and businesses that will lead to significant growth and job creation. In the current scenario, Bangalore stands the chance to become a hub for south India as against Hyderabad and Chennai.

Last but not least it has to be mentioned that the concession agreement, which clearly stipulate the closure of the present airport, has always anticipated a growth of the new airport. The concession agreement even indicates future expansion steps. Therefore it was always clear: When the new airport opens, the old will be closed (irrespective of the passenger volume). Thereafter the new airport has to be expanded in order to always meet the demand.

Some industry and public representatives allege that the government and the BIAL have cut a great deal for the latter, and BIAL is now sitting on super profits because of which it is unwilling to renegotiate the concessional agreement. Comments?

Your question itself suggests that these are allegations. It is important to note that an international consortia was created by the Government of Karnataka and the Airport Authority of India in 1999 to build own and operate a new Greenfield international airport in Bangalore through an open bid. The aviation landscape was very different then and the investment made by the private as well as the state promoters was a significant decision and as a step forward.

As explained above, the project itself has got redesigned (scope increased by almost 75 per cent) while already in the construction stage, this led to added investments. It will be years till this huge infrastructure project breaks even. India needs such projects which are focused on long-term investments and honouring commitments made will be a step forward to encourage Public Private Partnerships.

With the change in scope of design, what has the project cost come to?

From the initial Rs.1,400 cr, it went up to Rs.2,450 cr. Additionally there has been an investment of another Rs.1,000 cr from the concessionaires in cargo, catering and fuel.

When do you plan to have a second runway up? Are there legal impediments to this (the Air Force Base issue) that may not be totally in BIAL's hands?

Keeping in mind the current traffic growth, the second runway will be required in the next 3 to 5 years. BIAL is already working on the next phase of this development. The runways of the air base at Yelahanka and those of our airport are absolutely parallel. Nevertheless the air traffic management will have to be coordinated. For this reason, Indian Air Force had worked out a so called Integrated Airspace Management Plan which was the basis for its NOC (non objective certificate) for our project.

A Parliamentary standing committee has criticised the user fees for BIAL.

The Concession Agreement specifies that BIAL will be allowed to levy UDF from embarking domestic and international passengers for the provision of passenger amenities, services and facilities. The UDF will be used for the development, management, maintenance and operation of the airport. UDF is a global norm. IATA has confirmed in writing after consultation that it is in agreement with BIAL’s proposed tariff set up. This issue is currently under discussion with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and we await confirmation regarding the same.

It has to be noted that even with the envisaged user development fees, BIAL will face losses in the first few years. Thereafter, before we break even, we have to invest again in the next expansion. The UDF is needed for sustaining a reasonable return on investment and with this to give the investors the confidence for future project investments.

Seventy per cent of India lives in rural areas. People who fly are a small percentage. Why should the public at large be asked to pay for the expansion. People who use the airport should pay for it.

If you head for renegotiation of the concession agreement, would BIAL seek compensation?

You will appreciate that this question is speculative and hence we will not be able to answer it.

Is there a consultation process among the partners in the BIAL consortium? When was the last meeting among the partners?

Yes, regular meetings are held with the Board of Directors of BIAL. The last meeting was held in the last week of February 2008.

What did you like most about working on this project in India? Has it been a good, bad or ugly experience so far?

I have to say that it has not been that easy. Building a new private greenfield airport in India is much more than a construction project, it means setting up an unprecedented legal framework, coping with huge time pressure, recruiting and training personnel form a large talent pool with limited experience in airport management. It also requires selection of partners like caterers, ground handlers and retailers etc. who are willing and are able to provide service according to the highest international standards. It is not possible to realize such a project under the given time constraints without the full dedication of thousands of people involved (in the offices and at site) and without support from various authorities (Concluded).
 

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Don't forget that AAI and Karnataka government too have 13% stake in the airport and are on the board of the company. It is not like BIAL is scamming anyone. Connectivity is not BIAL's responsibility.
You are contradicting yourself. You say Governmnt holds 13% stake in BIAL again you say BIAL not responsible for connectivity problems now. Why didnot BIAL and its stake holder government work together to get good connectivity for past 3 years?



Even big cities like Singapore, Kaula Lampur etc have just one airport.
You are talking about island and small countries. Instead try to compare with countries similar in size with India lika Brasil where they have two airports in many cities.
 

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Forget the small countries like Singapore and Malaysia , take the city of Machester as an Example - that airport has 5 vast Terminals and yet there is talk of another airport there , they don't have massive traffic figures and neither are the demand estimates expected to explode but convenience of the public is still paramount in the UK , why not India.
 
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