BANGALORE, December 13: Bengaluru International Airport which stole the show in using the name Bengaluru even before the Union Government cleared the renaming of Bangalore as Bengaluru, is now all set to take a further leap with the implementation of the decision of the Union Cabinet to rename the airport after the founder of Bangalore — Kempe Gowda.
A chieftain of Yelahanka and described as a successor of the famous Vijayanagar empire of the 16th Century, Kempe Gowda will overnight shoot into international fame with the airport serving as a springboard. If credit goes to the United Progressive Alliance government for granting approval to renaming the airport after Kempe Gowda , a part of that credit should also go to the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government which under the Chief Ministership of Jagadish Shettar suggested renaming the airport after Kempe Gowda.
This matter was also ratified by the two Houses of the Karnataka Legislature. The Karnataka Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council had unanimously passed a resolution, although there were also several other names — some of religious preachers and reformers and even that of former Mysore rulers had come to the fore to name the airport after them. The BJP apparently took the legislature route to spike what would have otherwise ended up as a controversy in the mater of renaming the airport.
Perhaps, Bangalore may bear a semblance of a similarity to Kolkata , Mumbai and Ahmedabad where the airports are named after Nethaji Subashchandra Bose, Chhatrapathi Shivaji and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, unlike in various other important cities where the airports are named after members of the Nehru family — Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh will be in Bangalore on Saturday to formally unveil a plaque and announce the renaming of the airport. Thereafter, all international airlines leave alone the local airlines will have to officially book the tickets in the new name — Kempe Gowda International Airport. As of date, the computer software of airline operators for booking tickets is yet to be updated and this is expected to be executed over the next fortnight. The inauguration of a modern and expanded terminal will mark the occasion.
The main Bangalore Bus Station is already named after Kempegowda who is also known as ‘Bengalooru Kempegowda’. With him having been the founder of the metropolis of Bangalore, the rectangular park facing the headquarters Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has a statue of Kempe Gowda. Honours are done to the founder of Bangalore by the civic agency once a year when the whole area is spruced up. The occasion also marks the presentation of Kempegowda awards.
The operations at the international airport at Bangalore commenced in May 2008 and it is now owned by a conglomerate comprising the GVK Group, Siemens and Zurich Airport, apart from the Union and the State governments which has provided the requisite land. The State government is represented in the airport management by the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) while the Union Government is represented by the Airports Authority of India.