Bagdogra passenger count up
Siliguri: Officials of the Airports Authority of India said on Monday that the number of passengers at Bagdogra airport had increased by 62 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal vis-à-vis the same period in the 2016-2017 financial year.
Rakesh Sahay, the airport director of Bagdogra, said: "There has been an unprecedented rise in the number of passengers at the airport from April to September this year. Around 62 per cent more passengers travelled through Bagdogra during the six months, compared to the same period last year."
He said data showed that while 6,55,713 passengers had travelled via Bagdogra during the April-September period in 2016, the number climbed to 10,65,015 during the corresponding months in 2017.
"We expect that if the current growth rate continues, the total number of passengers will touch the two-million mark at the end of the financial year, that is, March 2018," said Sahay.
He said there had been a growth of 36 per cent in the passenger movement last month, compared to September 2016.
In September 2016, Bagdogra received a footfall of 1,07,139 travellers and the figure is 1,45,792 in the same month this year.
"The figures are encouraging, especially because passenger number peaked despite the 104-day shutdown in Darjeeling. The existing terminal at Bagdogra is getting overcrowded because of the rise in the number of passengers. We are aware that the AAI has plans for the expansion of the airport and feel that it is high time that the infrastructure and facilities are augmented," said Samrat Sanyal, a prominent tour operator in north Bengal.
Bagdogra has at least 20 landings and 20 take-offs everyday.