Monday, December 20, 2021

AAI team to visit 3 defunct north Bengal airports, check readiness for operationalisation

A delegation of Airports Authority of India (AAI) will visit three defunct airports in north Bengal this week and scrutinise the readiness of the facilities and report to the Centre, which will then take a call on operationalising those, a senior state government official said on Monday. The West Bengal government wants to quickly operationalise the Coochbehar, Balurghat and Malda airports, he said.

"Necessary work has been started by the district administrations. The AAI delegation will visit and scrutinise the three airports, and then report to the Centre for its nod to operationalise those," he said.

Over 90 per cent of the work at Balurghat airport at Mahinagar in Dakshin Dinajpur district is completed, the official said.

Balurghat MP and state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that talks are underway with various airlines for commencing commence flight services from the airport.

"If AAI officials find Balurghat airport suitable, then flight services will recommence from there. The Centre is keen to reopen this airport," he said.

A senior official at the state secretariat said that the airport at Coochbehar is very old and runway extension is a problem there.

"The runway will be extended from 1,069 metres to 1,800 metres, for which a portion of a nearby river is required. The district administration is trying hard to find a solution by constructing a culvert over the river in consultation with authorities concerned," he said.

20/12/21 PTI/Economic Times

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