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Tender floated for Bagdogra airport revamp

Centre sets aside Rs 1,300 crore for infrastructure boost
The ambulift introduced at the Bagdogra airport.
The ambulift introduced at the Bagdogra airport.
Twitter / @aaibagairport

Avijit Sinha   |   Siliguri   |   Published 10.04.22, 02:16 AM

The Union civil aviation ministry has invited bids for preparing a master plan for the Bagdogra airport’s much-awaited expansion in two phases and executing the first one and set aside Rs 1,300 crore for the entire project.

A new terminal and a number of other facilities are planned at the airport that has been chock-a-block for the past one decade because of rise in the number of flights and passengers.


The Airports Authority of India (AAI) invited bids on April 4 seeking architectural and engineering consultancy for preparing a master plan keeping in mind the requirement at Bagdogra in the next 30 years and executing the first phase. 

A source at the AAI said a time-frame of 39 months had been set for the execution of the first phase. “Of the 39 months, seven months are allotted for drawing up the master plan,” said the source. 

The tender was floated within 20 days of the Bengal government handing over to the AAI land required for the airport’s expansion. The state transferred around 100 acres to the AAI on March 16.

“The tender says a sum of Rs 1,312.88 crore would be spent for the expansion. Earlier, there had been indications that about Rs 600 crore would be set aside for the enhancement of the facilities. It seems the AAI doesn’t want to delay further the expansion,” a source said.

Aircraft parking bays, link taxiways, terminal, fire station, apron control tower, security cabins, watchtowers, navigation aids building, car parking space, residential accommodation for AAI and CISF personnel, guest rooms, retiring rooms, fuel hydrant facilities, sewerage system, sewerage treatment plant, approach road and internal roads are planned as part of the project. 

“The agency that will get the bid will draw up details of various facilities which include façade designing, passenger movement system, baggage handling system and IT system,” said a source at the AAI.

“The unprecedented rush of passenger traffic makes it necessary to execute the plan at the earliest. As of now, some extension of floor space has been carried out at the existing building but even then, it is inadequate to handle all daily passengers,” the source added.

The present terminal, sources said, can handle around 7.5 lakh passengers a year. But in the first 11 months of the last fiscal (2021-2022), 17.5 lakh passengers moved through the airport.

Darjeeling MP Raju Bista has appreciated the prompt moves of the AAI. 

“It is great to know that the Centre has increased the budget for the Bagdogra airport’s expansion. We hope the work will commence in due course. We also thank the chief minister for handing over to the AAI the land that was needed,” said Bista.


Ambulift — a mechanised lift that can help the physically-challenged board or deboard an aircraft — was introduced at the Bagdogra airport on Friday. Earlier, the staff of airline companies used to carry such passengers to aircraft. 

“Ambulift has been commissioned at Bagdogra Airport for divyang passengers/Passengers with reduced mobility as a part of social welfare policy of AAI,” reads a tweet of the airport.


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