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The Kolkata Airport: A Gateway to Eastern India

kolkata airport

kolkata airport

The Kolkata Airport, also known as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, is the primary airport serving the city of Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. With its rich history, modern infrastructure, and strategic location, the airport plays a crucial role in connecting Eastern India to the rest of the world. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of the Kolkata Airport, including its history, facilities, connectivity, and future plans.

The History of Kolkata Airport

The Kolkata Airport has a long and illustrious history that dates back to the early 20th century. It was originally established in 1924 as Dum Dum Airport, named after the nearby Dum Dum area. At that time, it served as a military airbase for the British Royal Air Force. However, with the growing popularity of air travel, the airport was opened for civilian use in 1929.

Over the years, the Kolkata Airport has undergone several expansions and renovations to meet the increasing demand for air travel. In 1995, it was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, in honor of the prominent Indian freedom fighter. Today, it stands as one of the busiest airports in India, handling millions of passengers and tons of cargo every year.

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Facilities at Kolkata Airport

The Kolkata Airport boasts a wide range of facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable and convenient experience for travelers. Here are some of the key facilities available at the airport:

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  • Terminal Buildings: The airport has two passenger terminals – Terminal 2 for domestic flights and Terminal 3 for international flights. Both terminals are equipped with modern facilities, including check-in counters, security checkpoints, lounges, and duty-free shops.
  • Transportation: The airport is well-connected to the city by various modes of transportation. Passengers can choose from taxis, buses, and app-based cab services to reach their desired destinations. Additionally, the airport has a dedicated railway station, which provides direct connectivity to major cities in India.
  • Dining and Shopping: The Kolkata Airport offers a wide range of dining options, ranging from local delicacies to international cuisines. Travelers can also indulge in some retail therapy at the duty-free shops, which offer a variety of products, including electronics, fashion, and souvenirs.
  • Business and Conference Facilities: For business travelers, the airport provides facilities like conference rooms, business centers, and VIP lounges. These amenities cater to the needs of corporate travelers, allowing them to conduct meetings, conferences, and other business activities.
  • Medical Services: The airport has a well-equipped medical center to handle any medical emergencies. Trained medical professionals are available round the clock to provide immediate assistance to passengers in need.

Connectivity and Airlines

The Kolkata Airport serves as a major hub for both domestic and international flights, connecting Eastern India to various destinations across the globe. It is served by numerous airlines, including both full-service carriers and low-cost carriers. Some of the prominent airlines operating at the Kolkata Airport include Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

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With its extensive network of flights, the Kolkata Airport offers excellent connectivity to major cities in India, as well as international destinations. Passengers can easily travel to popular cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad, among others. Additionally, the airport provides direct flights to international destinations such as Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.

Future Plans and Expansion

The Kolkata Airport has ambitious plans for expansion and modernization to meet the growing demands of air travel. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed the construction of a new integrated terminal, which will be capable of handling more passengers and flights. This new terminal will not only enhance the airport’s capacity but also provide state-of-the-art facilities to passengers.

Furthermore, the airport authorities are also focusing on improving the overall infrastructure and services at the airport. This includes upgrading the runway, taxiways, and apron to accommodate larger aircraft. Additionally, efforts are being made to enhance the passenger experience by introducing advanced technologies, such as self-check-in kiosks, automated baggage handling systems, and biometric-based security screening.

Q&A

1. How far is Kolkata Airport from the city center?

The Kolkata Airport is located approximately 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) northeast of the city center. The travel time from the airport to the city center can vary depending on the traffic conditions, but it usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour by road.

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2. Are there any hotels near Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are several hotels located near the Kolkata Airport, offering convenient accommodation options for travelers. Some of the popular hotels in the vicinity include Hyatt Regency Kolkata, Swissotel Kolkata, and Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport.

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3. Is there Wi-Fi available at Kolkata Airport?

Yes, the Kolkata Airport provides free Wi-Fi access to passengers. Travelers can connect to the airport’s Wi-Fi network and enjoy high-speed internet connectivity throughout the terminal buildings.

4. Can I exchange currency at Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are currency exchange counters and ATMs available at the Kolkata Airport. Passengers can easily exchange their currency or withdraw cash to meet their financial needs.

5. What are the transportation options from Kolkata Airport to the city?

Passengers have several transportation options to travel from Kolkata Airport to the city. They can choose from taxis, app-based cab services like Uber and Ola, or opt for public buses. Additionally, the airport has a dedicated railway station, which provides direct train services to various parts of the city.

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Summary

The Kolkata Airport, with its rich history, modern facilities, and excellent connectivity, serves as a vital gateway to Eastern India. It not only connects the region to major cities in India but also provides international connectivity to various destinations across the globe. With its ongoing expansion plans and focus on enhancing passenger experience, the Kolkata Airport is poised to become a world-class aviation hub, catering to the growing demands of air travel.

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