Monday, May 01, 2017

Bagdogra gets ‘major airport’ tag

The Bagdogra Airport that is the gateway to North Bengal, Sikkim, as well as the north-eastern states, Nepal, and Bhutan, has crossed the benchmark for “major airport” by carrying more than 15 lakh passengers in the financial year 2016-17.

The airport witnessed a phenomenal 40 per cent increase in passengers in 2016-17, becoming the 27th busiest airport in the country.

Also, Bagdogra witnessed a 31 per cent increase in terms of arrival and departure of flights, in comparison to the 2015-16 fiscal year. Bagdogra carried 15,24, 516 passengers in 2016-17, up from 10,87, 239. The number of flights that have operated from the airport is 11,599 up from 8,839 in 2015-16. The cargo too has witnessed a 2 per cent rise in comparison to 2015-16 fiscal.

As many as 23 flights operate on a regular basis from Bagdogra, with airlines like Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, Spicejet etc operating here. Lack of night landing facilities at the airport has been a barrier for Bagdogra but Mamata Banerjee had herself intervened and handed over 24 acre of land to the Airport Authority of India free of cost last year for upgradation of night landing facilities. “The infrastructure for landing of commercial flights, even during the night time, has been put in place. We are awaiting the certification of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation,” Rakesh Sahay, director of Bagdogra airport said.
01/05/17 Soumitra Nandi/The Asian Age