Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru’s (KIAB/ BLR Airport) South Runway (new runway) is now CAT IIIB compliant. This came into effect from December 31, 2020, 0530 hours.
Inclement weather and foggy conditions will now have minimal impact on the movement of aircraft. Aiding smooth operations during low visibility are the newly-installed advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS), Airfield Ground Lights (AGL), meteorological equipment such as Transmissometre, Automatic Weather Observatory Station (AWOS), Surface Movement Radar (SMR) and other navigational aids.
With this upgrade, the South Runway can facilitate aircraft landing with a Runway Visual Range as low as 50 meters and take-offs at 125 metres. Until now, the permissible visual range was 550m and 300m, for landing and take-off, respectively.
This makes BLR Airport the only Airport in South India and sixth in the Country with CAT III B runway.
Fog-related flight delays in Bengaluru have traditionally caused delays and diversions, inconveniencing passengers, as well as resulted in financial losses for the aviation industry. With a vision to enable journeys, create experiences and touch lives as the new gateway to India, BIAL will continue to introduce facilities and amenities aimed at making airport travel seamless, delightful and memorable.
BLR Airport has obtained regulatory approvals to operationalise the Runway with successful completion of both trial and calibration flights followed by an inspection by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Airlines are required to deploy crew trained for CAT-III operations to make the optimum use of the facility.
Fog Predication Study
In 2019, BLR Airport signed an agreement with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) to conduct a collaborative study on atmospheric conditions in the vicinity of the Airport. This four-year study is currently under way to develop a Numerical Simulation Tool capable of predicting the onset of radiation-fog over the Airport region.
North Runway Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation of the North Runway, which has been closed for operations from June 22, 2020, is under way. The rehabilitation includes strengthening and resurfacing of the runway as well as installation of LED Runway Centre Line lights and Runway Edge Lights. These enhancements will offer flexibility to operate in low visibility and adverse weather conditions.