PM Modi inaugurates BLR Airport T2; inspired by Bengaluru
The Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru’s (BLR Airport) Terminal 2 (T2) was inaugurated by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. The event was also attended by the Honourable Governor of Karnataka, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot; the Honourable Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Basavaraj Bommai; Union Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Minister, Pralhad Joshi; Former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yediyurappa; and Minister of Housing & Infrastructure Development of Karnataka, V Somanna.
The launch of T2 was hosted by Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of BLR Airport.
“The opening of Kempegowda International Airport’s Terminal 2 is a historic moment for us. The last two years were the most challenging with the pandemic impacting businesses all over the world, but our work on completing T2 was constantly in progress. Bengaluru is an evolving and emerging city that’s always been in the news for its achievements, and it was our aspiration to build a world-class terminal. The aviation sector is recovering from the slowdown due to the pandemic, and we have inaugurated T2 at the right time.
"While we were on this journey to build something that would be truly outstanding, we were supported constantly by the government, particularly a government that welcomes business. And whenever business is welcomed, more business makes its way, and we are optimistic that with the opening of T2, we are collaborating with more enterprises and partners, and we are grateful to the government that has believed in our vision and supported us constantly," says Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
“With the launch of T2, we have expanded our capacity to cater to additional 25 million passengers every year. What makes T2 special is not just its scale and size, but also the fact that it’s inspired by Bengaluru city. Built as a terminal in a garden, T2 reflects all that Bengaluru stands for – a green, modern, innovative, sustainable, and culturally rich city. Over the last 14 years, BLR Airport has evolved as the Gateway to South India and with this next phase of expansion, it aims to position the airport as the new Gateway to India,” adds Hari Marar, MD and CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).
T2, the new 255,661 square meter terminal is a dedication to the beautiful city of Bengaluru. The new terminal is located on the northeastern side of Terminal 1 and is designed by New York-based architectural firm SOM.
Scale & design
The scale and design of T2 provides passengers with "an experience unlike any other," says the PR. With 90 counters, T2 aims to ensure faster check-ins and easy navigation across security check areas.
The two-level domestic and international retail and lounge areas provide scenic views of the greenery within the building. The L-shaped piers accommodate 19 boarding gates (for Code C equivalent aircraft) that are pulled away from the main complex providing ample room for movement. The terminal interiors are clad in engineered bamboo inspired by traditional Indian cane weaving, and this gives the terminal a contemporary yet classic look and feel.
The four guiding principles that influenced the design and architecture of T2 are: terminal in a garden, sustainability, technology, and art & culture.
Terminal 2 is designed as a tribute to the Garden city of Bengaluru and the passenger experience is meant to be a “walk in the garden.” Passengers will travel through 10,000+ square meters of green walls, hanging gardens and outdoor gardens and these gardens are made in India using indigenous technology.
BLR Airport has already established a benchmark in sustainability with 100% usage of renewable energy across the campus. Terminal 2 is created with sustainability principles woven into the design. Terminal 2 is recognized as the largest terminal in the world to be pre-certified with a Platinum LEED rating by USGBC (US Green Building Council) prior to commencing operations.
The principle of technology and innovation is integral to the terminal, demonstrated through the seamless passenger journey using Digi Yatra. Integrated technology features allow the terminal to be customer-centric, operationally efficient, and innovative.
A terminal is "a place where we find all human emotions on display." To express this, "Naurasa" is the theme that unites all the commissioned artworks for Terminal 2. The artworks are exhibited at strategic locations and serve as "beacons" in a traveler’s journey, allowing passengers to pause, reflect and enjoy. The artworks represent the heritage and culture of Karnataka and broader Indian ethos. Sixty pieces by 43 artists were selected from over 300 open entries.
Terminal in a garden
- From entering the airport campus (from the Main Access Road) to boarding the aircraft at the piers, passengers will be visually treated with all shades of greens
- By the numbers: 10,235 square meters of green walls, 620 endemic plants, 3,600+ plant species, 150 palm species, 7,700 transplanted trees, 100 varieties of lilies, 96 lotus species and 180 rare, endangered and threatened species and 10 ecological habitats make up the green landscape at the BLR Airport, T2
- The flora and fauna, and skylight filtered through the delicate lattices of bamboo, and indoor waterfalls are inspired by the waterways of Karnataka
- Integral to the long-term sustainability plan: engineered bamboos are fire retardant and long-lasting, while the gardens and forest cover naturally cleanse the air; solar panels and daylight harvesting results in overall 24.9% energy savings
- Enhanced indoor air quality strategies like entryway systems and interior cross-contamination prevention, treated reverse osmosis (RO) water used for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
- Going forward the upcoming integrated solid waste management plant will convert biodegradable waste to fuel and manure, leading BLR airport toward zero waste to landfill
Innovation & technology
- Digi Yatra remains one of the smartest and easiest processes that has enhanced passenger journeys; with the "your face is your boarding pass" technology, travelers can pass through security checks without any hassles
- The face of a passenger has become the single biometric token, and BLR Airport has been at the forefront of developing this smart security implementation to facilitate more accurate screening since 2017
- BLR Airport supported the Government of India to roll out phase 1 successfully on August 15, 2022.
Art & culture
- BLR Airport's Art Programme: the art team at BLR has curated the program based on two themes: Karnataka’s rich heritage and culture, and Bharata’s Natayshastra’s Naurasa (or nine emotions)
- The focus of the art program at T2 is to exhibit the cultural diversity and unique art forms of Karnataka in particular, followed by other South Indian art forms