Friday, February 12, 2021

Calcutta airport lounge meant for passengers taking chartered flights deemed ‘unsafe’

Calcutta: A lounge at the Calcutta airport meant for passengers taking chartered flights and private jets and looking for exclusive privileges will not become operational because it has been deemed “unsafe and unviable” by the authorities, officials said.

The 1,000sq m lounge, adjacent to the integrated terminal, was supposed to be a for-hire facility for those passengers who seek exclusivity. It was constructed in 2015 at a cost of Rs 1.6 crore but has been lying defunct since.

An official of the government-run airport said the bureau of civil aviation security had raised concerns about the lounge because of its proximity to some of the parking bays.

According to another official, some other security concerns were raised, too.

“The general aviation lounge was to have a security check-in facility. The passengers who would check into the lounge before boarding a flight were not supposed to go to the security check-in counter and stand in a queue. The lounge was supposed to have an X-ray machine and frisking booth,” airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya said.

“However, Central Industrial Security Force personnel needed to be deployed round the clock there. But because of lack of demand, deploying CISF personnel round the clock was not viable at that time. So, the clearance was not given. The plan to operate the lounge has been shelved.”

The director said the furniture set up at the lounge had been shifted to other facilities on the premises.

Portions of the walls and ceiling of the lounge are coming off because of lack of maintenance, officials said.

12/02/21 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph

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