Virgin Hyperloop and Bangalore airport plan feasibility study for high-speed corridors

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 15 Nov 2020


At speeds of up to 1,080kph, hyperloop could transport thousands of passengers per hour from Bangalore airport to the city centre in under 10 minutes. (Image: BIAL/Twitter)

Virgin Hyperloop, the category leader in hyperloop technology, and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), operator of the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport),recently signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed hyperloop corridor from BLR Airport.

The pre-feasibility study, which focuses on technical, economic and route feasibility, is expected to be completed in 2 phases of six months each. With speeds of up to 1,080kph, hyperloop could transport thousands of passengers per hour from BLR Airport to the city centre in under 10 minutes, according to the preliminary analysis. At present, travel from the heart of the city to the airport, which is located on the outskirts, takes close to three hours.

The MoU was exchanged virtually, on Sep[tember 27, 2020, between Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and DP World, and T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Chairman of the Board of Directors at BIAL in the presence of Kapil Mohan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, Government of Karnataka.

“We are honoured to partner with Bangalore International Airport Limited to explore ways in which hyperloop can become a part of the solution to tackle congestion and support economic growth in Bengaluru,” said Sultan bin Sulayem. “Beyond just the transit of passengers, airports are crucial conduit for goods, especially time-sensitive deliveries. A hyperloop-connected airport would dramatically improve the delivery of cargo and create an ultra-efficient supply chain.”

BIAL says it aims to make Bangalore airport a transportation hub that connects people and places together through various modes of transport. In addition to its well-established road network, BLR Airport will soon be connected with the sub-urban railway in a few weeks and have Metro connectivity in four years.

"The government of Karnataka has implemented several measures to improve the transport infrastructure of the State. The commissioning of a feasibility study for hyperloop connectivity from BLR Airport is another major step towards building the infrastructure required to define mobility for the future, enabling the efficient movement of people," said TM Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Chairman of the Board of Directors, BIAL.

“As India’s hub for technology and innovation, Karnataka is embracing hyperloop as a way to keep pace, support clean growth, and open new opportunities for the city,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “A hyperloop-enabled airport would not only allow for faster travel times, it would create a 21st century passenger experience and expand airport capacity.”

“At BIAL, our vision is to make BLR Airport the new gateway to India by transforming it as a transportation hub. We are excited to take this landmark step which can catalyse the economic growth of the state of Karnataka and the region. Technological innovation is key to building and sustaining a world-class transportation hub, and this study is an important step forward. This mode of transportation offers enormous economic potential, connecting passengers at unprecedented speeds, with zero emissions,” said Hari Marar, MD and CEO, BIAL.

Travellers could streamline their multimodal trip with seamless check in and security – for both their hyperloop as well as air travel – at centrally-located hyperloop portals.

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