After all, an airport doesn’t open/close every day

Change is the only constant in life. And, last night, as the first Air India flight landed at the gleaming new Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli, beaming passengers were welcomed with flowers and bouquets (top) not by touts and auto drivers.

Meanwhile, at the HAL airport at the other end of the City, a wistful young Muslim family got off from their two-wheeler on the ring road (middle) to catch sight of one of the last flights to land at a landmark that was but no longer is.

And somewhere in between the past and the future, the self-appointed soldiers of the land (below) were bringing further glory to Karnataka and Kannadigas by unashamedly turning the naming of the airport into a caste issue, Balagangadharanath “swamiji” was threatening an “anahutha” (disaster) if the name of Kempe Gowda wasn’t slapped on to the new airport.

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The new airport saw the usual teething troubles in its first few hours. A flight that was supposed to land didn’t, and a flight that wasn’t supposed to, did. And the queues were still there as passengers waited to board a flight to Singapore (top).

But for the Kingfisher cabin crew it was a real breeze entering the new airport without having to wade through autos, motorycles, cars, cargo vans, taxis, luggage carts, passengers, visitors, relatives and sometimes whole villages (bottom, left). And as the first flight landed, BIAL chief Albert Bruner welcomed the captain and in-flight crew (bottom, right).

Photographs: Karnataka Photo News

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