Daily Archives: May 24, 2008

HAL says goodbye, BIA says hello

THE AUTHORITIES switched the Bangalore airports yesterday so at midnight tonight I will be wending my merry way to the new BIA airport, with the taxi fare estimated at Rs 1,500 and the journey time perhaps two hours or more, who knows…

That is not the end of it. Talked to a charming lady at BA Delhi who told me that I have to pay a “user development tax” for the privilege of using an airport without a high speed rail link or adequate roads.

This “user development tax” costs a cool Rs 1,070, so goodness knows what you do if you’re a traveller somewhat strapped for cash. Presumably you don’t fly.

I will let you know what this transport of delight is like after I’ve experienced its wonders. The PR engine at the Siemens-Zurich joint venture is already in full swing. The local newspapers are gushing about how wonderful it is, what with its extensive “shopping opportunities” at 3AM in the morning and the rest.

Some are still pushing to keep the old HAL airport going – at least for domestic frights. Many businessmen are switching to the trains instead of facing a drive of three hours to the airport, a two hour check in, followed by a 45 minute fright to, say, Chennai.