The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Terminal twins at airport

Calcutta’s dream airport is finally taking shape — on paper.

An integrated international and domestic terminal. An exclusive international terminal with special facilities for passenger arrival and departure. Parking bays to handle jumbo aircraft. A network of roads with flyovers and underpasses for uninterrupted traffic flow...

These are the highlights of the detailed project report (DPR) for the new-look Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, to which officials in the civil aviation ministry are giving the finishing touches.

“The DPR on the modernisation of Calcutta airport is in the final stages and we are working on the finer details. It will be finalised by next month,” K. Ramalingam, chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI), told Metro from Delhi.

The projected cost of the airport makeover stood at Rs 1,500 crore, but the final cost is yet to be worked out, added the chairman.

According to AAI sources, the Calcutta airport modernisation programme should be implemented before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.

“The airport will be of international standard,” stressed an AAI official.

The DPR outlines plans for two new terminals at the airport — an integrated large one for domestic and international flights, and another relatively small one just for international flights.

While the first terminal will have the capacity to handle 16 million passengers annually, the second will cater to four million passengers.

At present, the domestic terminal handles no more than 4.4 million passengers a year, and the international one hardly 0.8 million.

The past two years have seen a 45 per cent rise in the number of flights and a 52 per cent jump in passenger count, pushing the airport infrastructure to its limit.

The proposed buildings will have facilities for ground-floor arrival and first-floor departure, easing congestion.

There are proposals for installing four to five state-of-the art aerobridges.

New parking bays — some attached to the terminal and others in the ‘remote’ — will be built. “These would be able to handle wide-bodied aircraft,” disclosed an official.

The road network around the terminal buildings will be upgraded. “This will be taken up with the help of the state public works department,” said an AAI official. “The road will be created so that there is a seamless flow of traffic in and out of the airport.”

To cope with the increasing passenger and car count, the DPR proposes a number of underpasses and pedestrian flyovers on the approach roads from VIP Road to the airport.

Two new car parks with double the capacity of the existing ones are on the anvil.

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