Kolkata’s long wait for a modern airport is finally set to come to an end. After missing several deadlines, the new terminal at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI) is set to be formally inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on January 20.
Flight operations are scheduled to commence from January 23. Initially, the new terminal would be used for international flight operations. Airliners will be shifting facilities from the existing terminal to the new one in a phased manner. The new terminal is expected to be fully operational by end of March.
A Thai-Indian consortium of ITD-ITD Cementation was hired by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to carry this modernisation task in November 2008. The new facility will offer a new terminal, modern taxiways and extension of a runway so that it can handle the giant Airbus A-380 aircraft.
The 195,000-square-metre new six level integrated passenger terminal building will be able to handle 25 million passengers annually, as against the present annual capacity of 4.8 million. Currently, Kolkata airport handles about 10 million passengers per annum.