Virgin Hyperloop, the category leader in hyperloop technology, and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), operator of the country’s third-busiest airport, the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, (KIAB/BLR Airport), signed a first-of-its-kind memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed hyperloop corridor from BLR Airport.
The MoU was exchanged virtually between Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop & CEO, DP World, and TM Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka and Chairman of the Board of Directors at BIAL in the presence of Kapil Mohan, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure Development Department, Government of Karnataka on Sunday.
“We are honored to partner with Bangalore International Airport Ltd to explore ways in which hyperloop can become a part of the solution to tackle congestion and support economic growth in Bengaluru,” said bin Sulayem. “Beyond just the transit of passengers, airports are a 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 aims to make BLR 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 suburban railway in 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.
The pre-feasibility study, which focuses on technical, economic and route feasibility, is expected to be completed in two phases of six months each. With speeds of up to 1,080 kmph, the hyperloop could transport thousands of passengers per hour from BLR Airport to the city center in under 10 minutes, according to the preliminary analysis.
“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 an enormous economic potential, connecting passengers at unprecedented speeds, with zero emissions,” said Hari Marar, Managing Director & CEO, BIAL.
Travellers could streamline their multimodal trip with a seamless check-in and security, for both their hyperloop as well as air travel at centrally-located hyperloop portals.
It must be noted that Virgin Hyperloop is the only company in the world that has successfully tested hyperloop technology at scale, launching the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The company successfully operated a full-scale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realising a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper and more sustainable than any other existing modes. The company is presently working with governments, partners, and investors around the world to make the hyperloop a reality.