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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 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 history, facilities, connectivity, and future plans of the Kolkata Airport, highlighting its significance as a major aviation hub in the region.

The History of Kolkata Airport

The Kolkata Airport has a rich history that dates back to the early 1920s. It was originally established as a military airfield during the British colonial era. The airport witnessed its first commercial flight in 1924 when an aircraft operated by British Airways (then known as Imperial Airways) landed here. Over the years, the airport underwent several expansions and upgrades to accommodate the growing air traffic.

In 1995, the airport was renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in honor of the prominent Indian freedom fighter. Since then, it has witnessed significant developments, transforming into a modern and well-equipped aviation facility.

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State-of-the-Art Facilities

The Kolkata Airport boasts state-of-the-art facilities that ensure a seamless travel experience for passengers. Here are some of the key features:

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  • Terminal Buildings: The airport has two passenger terminals – Terminal 2 for domestic flights and Terminal 3 for international flights. These terminals are equipped with modern amenities, including lounges, duty-free shops, restaurants, and currency exchange counters.
  • Runways and Aprons: The airport has two parallel runways and multiple aprons to handle aircraft operations efficiently. The runways are equipped with advanced navigational aids, ensuring safe and smooth landings and takeoffs.
  • Cargo Facilities: Kolkata Airport has dedicated cargo terminals that handle a significant volume of air freight. These facilities are equipped with modern handling equipment and temperature-controlled storage areas to cater to various types of cargo, including perishable goods and pharmaceuticals.
  • Passenger Services: The airport offers a range of passenger services, including baggage handling, immigration and customs clearance, medical assistance, and special assistance for elderly and disabled passengers.

Connectivity and Airline Operations

The Kolkata Airport serves as a major gateway to Eastern India, connecting the region to various domestic and international destinations. It is well-connected to major cities in India through a robust network of domestic airlines. Several international airlines also operate flights to and from Kolkata, connecting it to destinations across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The airport has witnessed a significant increase in passenger traffic over the years. In the financial year 2019-2020, it handled over 22 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in India. The airport’s strategic location and connectivity have played a crucial role in attracting both business and leisure travelers to the region.

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Future Plans and Expansion

The Kolkata Airport has ambitious plans for expansion and modernization to meet the growing demands of air travel. Here are some of the key future developments:

  • New Integrated Terminal: The airport authorities have proposed the construction of a new integrated terminal that will cater to both domestic and international passengers. This terminal will have enhanced passenger facilities and increased capacity to handle the growing air traffic.
  • Upgraded Runways and Taxiways: The airport plans to upgrade its existing runways and taxiways to accommodate larger aircraft and improve operational efficiency.
  • Improved Cargo Infrastructure: Kolkata Airport aims to enhance its cargo handling capabilities by developing modern infrastructure and adopting advanced technologies for efficient cargo operations.
  • Enhanced Passenger Amenities: The airport authorities are focused on improving passenger amenities, including lounges, retail outlets, and dining options, to provide a world-class travel experience.

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.

2. Which airlines operate international flights from Kolkata Airport?

Several international airlines, including Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and AirAsia, operate flights to and from Kolkata Airport.

3. Does Kolkata Airport have direct flights to major Indian cities?

Yes, Kolkata Airport is well-connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore through direct flights operated by domestic airlines.

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4. Are there any hotels near Kolkata Airport?

Yes, there are several hotels located near Kolkata Airport that cater to the needs of transit passengers and travelers seeking accommodation close to the airport.

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5. How is the ground transportation facility at Kolkata Airport?

Kolkata Airport offers various ground transportation options, including taxis, app-based cab services, and pre-paid taxi counters. Additionally, there are bus services connecting the airport to different parts of the city.

Summary

The Kolkata Airport, with its rich history, modern facilities, and strategic connectivity, serves as a vital gateway to Eastern India. The airport’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, including terminal buildings, runways, and cargo facilities, ensures a seamless travel experience for passengers. It is well-connected to major domestic and international destinations, attracting a significant volume of air traffic. With ambitious plans for expansion and modernization, the Kolkata Airport is poised to further enhance its capacity and passenger amenities, solidifying its position as a major aviation hub in the region.

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