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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, strategic location, and modern infrastructure, 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 established in 1924 as Dum Dum Airport, named after the nearby Dum Dum area. Initially, it served as a military airbase during World War II. However, with the rapid growth of air travel, the airport was converted into a civilian airport in 1952.

Over the years, the Kolkata Airport has undergone several expansions and renovations to meet the increasing demand for air travel. In 2013, it was renamed 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 and surrounding areas through various modes of transportation. Passengers can avail of taxis, buses, and app-based cab services to reach their 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 airlines, connecting Eastern India to various destinations across the globe. It offers a wide range of flight options, catering to the diverse needs of travelers. Some of the prominent airlines operating at the Kolkata Airport include Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways.

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In terms of connectivity, the Kolkata Airport has direct flights to major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore. It also offers international flights to destinations like Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, and London. The airport’s strategic location makes it an ideal transit point for travelers heading to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Future Plans and Expansion

The Kolkata Airport has ambitious plans for future expansion and development. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed the construction of a new integrated terminal, which will be capable of handling more passengers and aircraft. This expansion project aims to enhance the airport’s capacity and improve passenger experience.

Additionally, the airport authorities are working on improving the airport’s infrastructure and facilities. This includes upgrading the runway, taxiways, and apron to accommodate larger aircraft. The airport also plans to enhance its cargo handling capabilities to support the growing demand for air freight.

Q&A

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

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

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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.

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 during their time at the airport.

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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 COVID-19 safety measures implemented at Kolkata Airport?

The Kolkata Airport has implemented various COVID-19 safety measures to ensure the well-being of passengers. These measures include mandatory temperature checks, social distancing markers, hand sanitization stations, and regular sanitization of common areas.

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Summary

The Kolkata Airport, with its rich history, modern facilities, and strategic location, serves as a vital gateway to Eastern India. It connects the region to various domestic and international destinations, facilitating trade, tourism, and cultural exchange. The airport’s ongoing expansion plans and commitment to providing a seamless travel experience make it a key player in India’s aviation sector. Whether you are a business traveler or a tourist, the Kolkata Airport offers a world-class experience that reflects the vibrant spirit of the city it serves.

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