Bangalore now has its new airport … but what happens to the old ‘port is still up in the air as the New York Times reports. It seems that in India’s most modern tech-central city, people just don’t trust the newfangled stuff – at least until it’s safely out of beta testing.
In a quote reminiscent of the ailing Lou Gehrig, Albert Brunner, the CEO of the Bengaluru International Airport (a consortium composed of the private enterprises Unique Zurich Airport, Siemens Project Ventures and Larsen & Toubro and the state-owned Airport Authority of India and Karnataka government) was widely quoted as saying, “I am the happiest man in the world,” upon the airport’s opening. (On the management page for the airport where the Swiss honchos are all pictured, they are all smiling in a way that is uncharacteristic for the rather staid Swiss and for management photos in general; “See, look how happy we are!” they radiate. Stephan Widrig, the Chief Commercial Officer looks like he’s almost painfully happy.)
What Brunner was probably trying to say was, “I am the most relieved man in the world” after the fast-track project was “marred by controversies, litigations, protests and cost over-runs, the much-awaited launch was put off thrice (March 28, May 11 & 23) due to delays in setting up the air traffic control, training operators, government clearances and finally the poll panel’s directive to it put-off by a day.”
If you’re headed to the company-cum-airport known as Bangalore (aka Bengaluru) International Airport Limited also known as BIAL, be sure to use BLR as your code; BIA will put you in France.