California-based transportation technology company Virgin Hyperloop and the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) on Sunday announced a path-breaking study to explore building a modern hyperloop between the airport and the city centre so that passengers could be ferried in less than 10 minutes.

The two companies on Sunday agreed to do a pre-feasibility study which will focus on technical, economic and route feasibility. They plan to complete it in two phases of six months each. According to a preliminary analysis, the system can transport passengers with speeds of up to 1,080 km per hour, the companies said in a press release. The speed is three times faster than high-speed rail and more than 10 times faster than traditional rail, Virgin said on its website.

“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,” Hyperloop chairman Sultan bin Sulayem said after signing the deal with BIAL chairman TM Vijay Bhaskar in a virtual event.

The airport operator said it wants to make the international airport a transportation hub that connects people and places together through various modes of transport. In addition to a road network, the airport will soon be connected with the sub-urban railway in a few weeks and will have Namma Metro connectivity in four years.

The commissioning of a feasibility study for hyperloop connectivity is another major step towards building the infrastructure required to define mobility for the future, Vijay Bhaskar said.

“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,” d Virgin Hyperloop CEO Jay Walder said. “A hyperloop-enabled airport would not only allow for faster travel times, it would create a 21st century passenger experience and expand airport capacity,” he added.

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,” BIAL chief executive Hari Marar said.

Virgin has already built a 500-metre long test track in Las Vegas reaching up to 387 km per hour of speed, and conducted about 400 tests so far.

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