Travelers Use Tractors To Reach Bengaluru Airport Admid Flooding

Improvise, adapt, overcome. That’s what travelers going to Bangalore Airport on Monday night had to do to make their flights. After Bangalore saw heavy showers, roads to the airports were flooded, leaving people stranded. The only vehicles able to get through were trucks or tractors, and some passengers were up for the ride. Let’s find out more.

Parked Aircraft at the Bangalore International Airport
Bangalore is the latest in a string of airports to face flooding issues after intense rainfall in the city. Photo: Venkat Mangudi via Wikimedia Commons.

Tough

According to ScoopWhoop, Bangalore Airport saw a stunning 93mm of rain pour down in just a few short hours, leaving roads across the city flooded and unpassable. Some of the roads affected were the ones leading and to from the airport, with travelers posting the increasing water levels as the night continued.

The situation certainly did not help Bangalore’s notorious traffic problem, which dissuaded many from stepping out in the first place. However, with the rain showing no signs of stopping in the next few hours, passengers with night departures decided to search for ways to reach the airport.

Considering the waterlogging, walking and going by car were quickly discarded as options. Instead, several travelers decided to use a tractor to reach the terminal on time, creating a rather absurd system. In videos posted online, passengers can be seen dropping off their bags onto the tractor and then getting on themselves. You can’t say these travelers weren’t motivated to catch their flights.

Surprisingly, Bangalore Airport did not put out a public statement on Twitter to confirm that the airport was fully functioning again. With rain continuing over the next two days (including today), travelers will face heavy traffic and possibly even waterlogging again if showers increase. Keeping an eye on the map will be important if flying in the next few days.

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Big issues

Bangalore Airport is one of India’s newest, featuring a modern joint-terminal and two runways. The airport is the easiest for transfers since everything is within a single terminal and feels bright and airy. However, there seem to be bigger issues lurking under the surface when it comes to infrastructure planning.

The easy flooding of the arrivals and departures areas signals a lack of planning prior to development. Bangalore is no stranger to heavy showers, and while they may not be as frequent as this week’s, airport planners must prepare for all situations. Without quick repairs, the airport is susceptible to the same problems repeatedly, similar to Delhi Airport.

Indian Airlines
Delhi Airport has also faced repeated flooding over the last few years due to rains. Photo: Getty Images

Speaking of the national capital, Bangalore’s floods came almost exactly a month after Delhi saw similar conditions. While Delhi’s terminal was up and running a bit more quickly (and did not require tractors), it also saw waterlogging on the roads leading up, at entrances, and even a little bit on the apron (not affecting operations).

For now, passengers should keep an eye on weather conditions before essential travel. With rain creating serious disruptions, it might be best to show a few hours early rather than be stuck in traffic or on a tractor.

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