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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, after the war, it was converted into a civilian airport to cater to the growing demand for air travel.

Over the years, the airport has undergone several expansions and renovations to keep up with the increasing passenger traffic. In 1995, 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 every year.

Facilities at Kolkata Airport

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

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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 amenities and offer a variety of services, including lounges, duty-free shops, restaurants, and currency exchange counters.
  • 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 destinations. Additionally, the airport has a dedicated railway station, which provides easy access to different parts of Kolkata.
  • Shopping and Dining: The Kolkata Airport houses a wide range of retail outlets and dining options. From luxury brands to local handicrafts, travelers can find a diverse range of products to suit their preferences. The airport also offers a variety of dining choices, ranging from fast food to fine dining restaurants.
  • Business and Conference Facilities: For business travelers, the airport provides facilities like conference rooms, business centers, and Wi-Fi connectivity. These amenities enable passengers to conduct meetings, work, or stay connected while waiting for their flights.
  • Medical Services: The airport has a well-equipped medical center to cater to any medical emergencies. Trained medical staff and ambulances are available round the clock to provide immediate assistance to passengers in need.
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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 well-connected to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore, through numerous airlines. Some of the prominent domestic airlines operating at the airport include Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara.

Internationally, the Kolkata Airport offers flights to destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur. Airlines like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and AirAsia operate regular international flights from the airport. The airport’s connectivity to international destinations plays a vital role in promoting tourism and trade in the region.

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 aircraft. The new terminal will feature state-of-the-art facilities and advanced technologies to enhance the overall passenger experience.

In addition to the new terminal, the airport authorities are also focusing on improving the existing infrastructure. Upgrades to the runway, taxiways, and apron are planned to accommodate larger aircraft and increase operational efficiency. The expansion plans aim to position the Kolkata Airport as a world-class aviation hub and boost economic growth in the region.

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

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3. Is there public transportation available from Kolkata Airport?

Yes, Kolkata Airport is well-connected to the city by public transportation. There are buses and taxis available outside the airport terminals. Additionally, app-based cab services like Uber and Ola are also operational in Kolkata, providing convenient transportation options for passengers.

4. Can I exchange currency at Kolkata Airport?

Yes, currency exchange counters are available at the Kolkata Airport. Passengers can exchange their foreign currency or withdraw Indian Rupees using the ATMs located within the airport premises.

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, frequent sanitization of common areas, and the use of face masks and hand sanitizers. Passengers are advised to follow the guidelines and protocols issued by the airport authorities.

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Summary

The Kolkata Airport, with its rich history, modern facilities, and strategic connectivity, serves as a vital gateway to Eastern India. The airport’s expansion plans and focus on enhancing infrastructure will further strengthen its position as a major aviation hub. With its seamless connectivity to domestic and international destinations, the Kolkata Airport plays a crucial role in promoting tourism, trade, and economic growth in the region. 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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