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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 the increasing demand for air freight. These facilities are equipped with advanced handling systems and storage facilities.
  • ATC Tower: The airport has a state-of-the-art Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, which ensures safe and efficient operations. The ATC tower is equipped with advanced radar systems and communication equipment.
  • Passenger Services: The airport offers a range of passenger services, including baggage handling, immigration, customs, and security. There are also facilities for disabled passengers and medical emergencies.

Connectivity and Airlines

The Kolkata Airport is well-connected to various domestic and international destinations, making it a major aviation hub 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 domestic and international airlines, including Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

With its extensive network of flights, the Kolkata Airport offers convenient connections to major cities in India, as well as international destinations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. The airport has witnessed a significant increase in passenger traffic in recent years, reflecting its growing importance as a regional aviation hub.

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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. The new terminal will feature advanced facilities and technologies to enhance the passenger experience.

In addition to the new terminal, the airport authorities are also planning to upgrade the existing infrastructure, including the runways, taxiways, and aprons. These improvements will enable the airport to handle larger aircraft and increase its capacity to meet the growing demand for air travel.

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 of the popular hotels in the vicinity include Hyatt Regency Kolkata, Swissotel Kolkata, and Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences.

3. Is there public transportation available from Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are various public transportation options available from the Kolkata Airport. The airport is well-connected by taxis, buses, and app-based cab services. 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.

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4. Can I get a visa on arrival at Kolkata Airport?

No, currently, Kolkata Airport does not offer visa on arrival facilities. Travelers must obtain a valid visa before arriving in India. It is advisable to check the visa requirements and apply for a visa well in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

5. What are the COVID-19 safety measures at Kolkata Airport?

The Kolkata Airport has implemented various COVID-19 safety measures to ensure the well-being of passengers and staff. These measures include mandatory temperature checks, social distancing protocols, frequent sanitization of common areas, and the use of face masks and hand sanitizers. Travelers are advised to check the latest guidelines and regulations before their journey.

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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 domestic and international destinations, making it a major aviation hub in the region. With ambitious plans for expansion and development, the Kolkata Airport is poised to further enhance its role as a key player in India’s aviation sector.

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