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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 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 witnessed significant developments and expansions. In 1995, it was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, in honor of the prominent Indian freedom fighter. The airport underwent a major modernization project in 2013, which transformed it into a world-class facility with state-of-the-art infrastructure and amenities.

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Facilities and Infrastructure

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 features:

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  • Terminals: 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 lounges, duty-free shops, and restaurants.
  • Runways: The airport has two runways, capable of handling large aircraft. The primary runway is 3,627 meters long, while the secondary runway is 3,200 meters long.
  • Cargo Facilities: The Kolkata Airport has dedicated cargo terminals to handle both domestic and international cargo. These facilities are equipped with advanced handling systems and customs clearance facilities.
  • Passenger Services: The airport offers a range of passenger services, including baggage handling, immigration, customs, and security. It also provides special assistance for elderly and disabled passengers.

Connectivity and Airlines

The Kolkata Airport is well-connected to various domestic and international destinations, making it a crucial hub for air travel in Eastern India. It serves as a gateway to popular tourist destinations such as Darjeeling, Sundarbans, and the Northeastern states. The airport is served by several major airlines, including both full-service carriers and low-cost carriers.

Domestic airlines such as Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara operate regular flights to major cities across India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai. International airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and Qatar Airways connect Kolkata to destinations in 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 40 million passengers annually. This new terminal will further enhance the airport’s capacity and provide a world-class experience for travelers.

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In addition to the new terminal, the airport authorities are also focusing on improving the airport’s connectivity and infrastructure. Plans are underway to upgrade the existing runways, build new taxiways, and enhance the cargo handling facilities. These initiatives will not only boost the airport’s operational efficiency but also attract more airlines and increase passenger traffic.

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 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 popular hotels in the vicinity include Hyatt Regency Kolkata, Swissotel Kolkata, and Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport.

3. Is there public transportation available from Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are various public transportation options available from Kolkata Airport. The airport is well-connected by taxis, app-based cab services, and buses. The Kolkata Metro, which is the city’s rapid transit system, also has a station near the airport, providing easy access to different parts of the city.

4. Does Kolkata Airport have Wi-Fi facilities?

Yes, the Kolkata Airport provides free Wi-Fi facilities for passengers. Travelers can connect to the airport’s Wi-Fi network by selecting the appropriate network and following the registration process.

5. Are there any lounges at Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are several lounges available at Kolkata Airport for both domestic and international passengers. These lounges offer a range of amenities, including comfortable seating, complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi access, and business facilities.

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Summary

The Kolkata Airport, with its rich history, modern infrastructure, and strategic location, serves as a vital gateway to Eastern India. The airport offers a wide range of facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable travel experience for passengers. It is well-connected to various domestic and international destinations, making it an important hub for air travel in the region. With its ambitious expansion plans and focus on improving connectivity, the Kolkata Airport is poised to further enhance its position as a key aviation hub in India.

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