Sunday, August 12, 2018

Land hurdles keep airport plans grounded in Bengal

Kolkata: The state government’s policy against land acquisition is posing a challenge for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to set up a second airport near Kolkata and expand the saturated facility at Bagdogra.
Kolkata airport is hurtling towards full capacity with 22 million passengers projected to use the integrated terminal this year. Though AAI is attempting to refurbish the old domestic terminal and increase the integrated terminal’s efficiency, it will still hit the ceiling when the passenger load touches 26 million.
“We need land to start planning for a second airport in Kolkata so that the growth momentum in passenger traffic continues. Ideally, it should be within 35-40km radius of the current airport. We have written to the state chief secretary but there has been no reply yet,” Mohapatra said.

AAI had sent a similar request to the Odisha government for a second airport near Bhubaneswar. Not only has the Navin Patnaik government shown AAI two plots it identified, it is currently in talks over acquisition of the plot that has been selected by AAI.
12/08/18 Tamaghna BanerjeeTimes of India

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