Work at the proposed airport at Andal near Durgapur is in full swing. Undoubtedly, the idea of this airport conceived and started during the Left Front rule in Bengal is one of the greatest achievements of the Left Front Government. This airport near Durgapur is all set to change the socio-economic face of the region.
Work is on in all aspects of airport like terminal building, runway and ATC building. The 6,500-sq m terminal building will have an annual passenger-handling capacity of one million. In the first year, the company is expecting passenger traffic of about 350,000. The first phase of the work, scheduled to be completed by year-end, includes construction of the airport and initial infrastructure for the proposed township. The initial infrastructure for the township will involve an investment of Rs 624 crore.
In a recent development promoter of Andal Aerotropolis, Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL) has initiated talks with major airlines for participation. Talking to media person, BAPL Chief Executive Officer and Director Subrata Paul said, “Presence of several public sector units here, like the Durgapur Steel Plant, Alloy Steel Plant, Eastern Coalfields Limited, Bharat Coking Coal and IISCO Steel Plant makes it extremely for airlines to operate flights from Andal,” After showcasing facilities at Andal airport city to the representatives of airlines companies, travel agents and officials from the PSU, Mr. Paul informed that, “Airlines representatives were impressed by the projected facilities, but would conduct independent surveys before taking a final call”. Changi’s association will surely instill confidence among the carriers.
Official of a private airline said, “We will have to look into the operational aspects such as traffic potential and infrastructure like number of hotel rooms available in case of cancellation of flights etc. We will definitely look into the operational costs, what the BAPL or state is offering. In states like Maharashtra, at non-metro airports, sales tax on fuel is four per cent against 20 per cent in case of airports in metros. We will see how the state comes forward here,”
During the ceremony, BAPL suggested route plans to the airliners, which includes two daily flights to Delhi and one flight to Bombay and Kolkata each day. It had also proposed three flights in a week to either Chennai or Bangalore depending on passenger traffic, which would be linked with either Guwahati or Bagdogra in North Bengal.
After the first phase, BAPL plans to come out with an airport city, which would have an information technology park, hospitals and a residential complex. The airport city is expected to see an estimated investment of about Rs 10,000 crore.