New Bangalore airport shoddy: Yeddyurappa

Bangalore: Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has called the Bangalore International Airport (BIA) as 'shoddy' in comparison with other international airports. 

The Bangalore International Airport is a Rs25 billion greenfield project, was commissioned around three months ago. Built and operated by a consortium of Unique Zurich Airport, Siemens Projects Ventures and Larsen and Toubro, the airport started operations on May24, amidst much criticism and delays pertaining to the design and lack of facilities.

The Karnataka state government and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) hold minority stake holders in Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), the holding company that was set up to construct and operate the airport. 

The airport is 40 kilometres away from Bangalore's city centre, and is 70 kilometers from the 'electronic city' where the IT hub of Bangalore is housed. There was much opposition to the closing of the existing airport at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which was within city limits. The concession agreement between BIAL and the central government does not allow any airport to operate civilian flights within the 150 km of the new airport. 

Yeddyurappa has just returned from the US where he had gone to attend a meeting of Kannadigas; he apparently found airport facilities in the US much better. 

Speaking at a function to mark the completion of 100 days in office, he said "It's shoddy compared to other airports." Yeddyurappa had assumed office 30 May. 

"I will not allow such things. We need an airport of international standards," he is reported to have said while presenting progress report on his 100-day rule. He did not reveal any details about what his government plans to do to improve the airport.