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Bangalore Airport

HAL Bangalore Airport
HAL Airport
Hindustan Airport
Airport type Military/Public
Operator Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Airports Authority of India
Location Bangalore
Elevation AMSL 2,912 ft / 888 m
Coordinates 12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95°N 77.66833°E / 12.95; 77.66833Coordinates: 12°57′0″N 77°40′6″E / 12.95°N 77.66833°E / 12.95; 77.66833
Direction Length Surface
ft m
09/27 10,850 3,307 Asphalt

HAL Bangalore International Airport (ICAO: VOBG), also known as HAL Airport or Hindustan Airport, is the airport of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) facility at Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

The airport is used to test and develop aircraft for the Indian Armed Forces. Manufacturing and overhauling of such aircraft has averaged nearly one per day (on a company-wide, All-India basis) over the 40 year life span of the firm.

It was also a domestic and international airport serving the city. However this usage is now defunct, as its passenger usage was replaced by the new Bengaluru International Airport on 24 May 2008. It handled an estimated 7.5 million passengers a year as of 2006 and an average of at least 550 flights (takeoffs and landings) per day, earning an estimated Rs 1-1.5 billion in landing and aircraft parking fees from scheduled airlines.


HAL Airport in year 1947
HAL Airport in year 1947

Originally set up by HAL in 1964, mainly for defence purposes, operations were extended for domestic commercial flights in the 1980s while the airport started to serve international destinations in 1997. In the past decade, the airport has gone through a series of expansions and upgrades to keep pace with the growing civilian air traffic in the city. While the rated capacity of the airport was 3.6 million passengers per year it was last operating at a super saturated level of 7.5 million. Reportedly HAL requested airlines to discontinue the addition of flights to and from Bangalore some time ago.

In the mid 1990s, friction started to arise between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and HAL. AAI wanted more control over airport management which HAL refused, citing national security concerns. The HAL airport is the site of much of HAL's test and research facility. Currently, more than 50% of the Indian Air Force fleet consists of aircraft manufactured by HAL. The airport's management issue also caused contention between the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Thus turf wars may have been the major problem, and not over-riding operational factors. In 2005, a private consortium, Bangalore International Airport Limited, (BIAL), in which AAI was a minority shareholder, finally started construction on the new Bengaluru International Airport. Now completed and commissioned, BIAL has replaced HAL airport as Bangalore's international and domestic airport, while HAL airport will serve only as a test and research facility for HAL. The new airport is about 35 km (22 mi) from Bangalore and a new 6-lane highway has being built to access it. Travel time can be up to 3 hours from the southern parts of the city. Hence low cost airlines are making strong representations to the Civil Aviation Minister to let them continue to use the more conveniently located HAL airport despite the contractual obligation to close down the airport's civil enclave.

Land side structure

Kingfisher Airlines taxiing in HAL Bangalore International Airport
Kingfisher Airlines taxiing in HAL Bangalore International Airport

There are separate check-in sections for domestic and international departures, and separate sections for domestic and international arrivals. The airport has two aerobridges and preference on using the aerobridges is given to international flights.

HAL Airport is relatively close to the city centre (12 km (7.5 mi)). A taxi ride from the airport to the city centre, in peak hour traffic takes between 1/2 - 1 hour.

Air side structure

HAL Airport has one runway, oriented to 90/270 degrees. There are 4 entry/exit taxiways, 2 on the east side called E2 (perimeter) and E1. Similarly there are 2 taxiways to the west side - W2 (perimeter) and W1.

There are now 5 aprons, apron 1 through apron 5. Apron 1 is the main apron, and has 10 parking bays. Bay 5 and bay 6 correspond to the 2 aerobridges. Apron 5 was opened in 2006 and has 5 bays.

ATC frequencies in use

The frequencies normally in use at VOBG are:

ATC Frequencies at VOBG
Call Sign Used for Frequency
1 Bangalore Tower Runway to 6,000 ft (1,800 m) 123.5 MHz
2 Bangalore Radar 6,000 ft (1,800 m) to 12,000 ft (3,700 m) 127.7 MHz
3 Bangalore Radar (not used during off-peak hours) Used as an intermediate step between the tower (123.5) and radar (127.7) 120.6 MHz
4 Bangalore Ground (not used during off-peak hours) Ground movement - off runway 121.95 MHz
5 Bangalore ATIS Information 128.25 MHz

Most aircraft move to Chennai air traffic control (ATC) airspace immediately before or after Bangalore. Chennai ATC is operated on 119.5 MHz.

Airport upgrades

Ongoing talks have taken place since the early 1990s for upgrading Bangalore's airport to international standards and building a new airport at Devenahalli. The unprecedented growth of private low cost air carriers since 2003 has left the authorities with logistical nightmares in the terminal in supporting day to day operations. Low cost carriers like Deccan have made Bangalore a major hub, with flights connecting to smaller cities like Mangalore and Belgaum. The Bangalore-Mumbai route is growing into the second busiest in the country, second only to Mumbai-Delhi.

HAL intends to make optimal utilisation of the resources at the airport after the civilian operations shift to the upcoming international airport at Devanahalli on the outskirts of the city in mid-2008, HAL chairman told reporters;

There are varied reports about HAL's plans for maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) at the airport. HAL was said to be close to signing an agreement with Pratt & Whitney Canada to launch a MRO at the airport. Earlier the foreign company had signed long term agreements with Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines for engine maintenance. The plan was to set up an MRO base for 150 engines by mid-07 and start with 50 per year. HAL are also reportedly in dialogues with Airbus as well as ATR for setting up an MRO facility at the airport. Once the upcoming international airport in Devanahalli becomes operational, HAL plans to use the existing airport for certification of HAL's own aircraft too.

Completely building a new airport (as opposed to upgrading the current HAL airport) eventually won out with the new Bangalore International Airport Limited finally being realized. Construction of the new airport began on 2 July 2005 and commercial operation began from 23 May 2008. Originally, this airport was to be able to handle 4-5 million passengers annually, with a single runway (13,517 ft (4,120 m) in length). However, given the sharp increase in passenger traffic in 2005, the airport has been redesigned so that its terminals will be able to handle 12 million passengers in the first phase. The cost of this change is estimated at Rs 4.5 billion and is funded by the private consortium.

Incidents and accidents

  • 14 February 1990, Indian Airlines Flight 605, an Airbus A320, crashed on final approach with 92 fatalities.
  • 28 December 1996, a Blue Dart Aviation Boeing 737 made a heavy, off-center landing causing damage to the aircraft and runway.
  • 12 February 2004, a helicopter being used by the HAL Rotary Wing Academy crashes, injuring both occupants.
  • 26 October 2005, an Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes killing the pilot.
  • 11 March 2006, a Deccan ATR 72, with 40 passengers and 4 crew makes a heavy landing. There are no major injuries but the aircraft is written off.
  • 4 May 2006, a Transmile Air Services 727-2F2F suffered damage to the left wing fuel tank.
  • 21 August 2006, a Kiran Mark II trainer aircraft crashes after the wheels failed.
  • 6 June 2007, Sri Lankan Cargo Antonov An-12 loses engine power on runway.
  • 6 March 2009, A NAL Saras aircraft prototype that had taken off from HAL Bangalore crashed in a field near Bidadi, killing the three man crew of test pilots.

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General Info
Country India
Time UTC+5:30
Latitude 12.949986
12° 56' 59.95" N
Longitude 77.668206
077° 40' 05.54" E
Elevation 2912 feet
888 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 002° W (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Operating Agency PRIVATE
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 123.5
Opr 0130-1600Z.
APP 127.7

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
09/27 10850 x 200 feet
3307 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME BBG BANGALORE 102X 115.5 At Field -
NDB BG BANGALORE - 363 2.9 NM 248.5

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (GREEN)

A-GEAR Cables instl, type unk.
FUEL Avbl 0030-1630Z, OT 24 hr PN. (NC-100LL, A1)
MISC Hvy acft lineup 500' ahead of thld of Rwy 09-27 to protect arrest barrier.

The content above was published at in 2010.
We don't guarantee the information is fresh and accurate. The data may be wrong or outdated.
For more up-to-date information please refer to other sources.

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