Kolkata airport to turn swanky with modernisation

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 16, 2017


The Kolkata airport or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport is often a “traveller's nightmare.” It is small, clumsy, mismanaged and perhaps not what an airport should be like. But come October and all these are set to change.

“Flights will be operational once airlines are able to shift their counters to the new terminal. It might take up to December,” an airport official said on conditions of anonymity.

The nearly Rs 2,500-crore modernisation programme, stuck by several delays, is being carried out by the Thai-Indian consortium of ITD-ITD Cementation. The modernisation work will bring the airport at par with international standards.

It had an initial completion date of August 2011. It has been revised to May 2012 and now to October 2012. Currently, over 90 per cent of the modernisation work is complete.

Mr B.P. Sharma, regional director, Kolkata airport, remained unavailable for comment.


So what exactly is special about the modernisation?

If airport officials and the initial plans are to be believed then the programme includes a number of infrastructural changes and once fully operational, the new integrated terminal will cater to an annual increased capacity of nearly 20 million people.

At the moment, the annual footfalls at the airport are nearly 9 million – almost double the existing capacity of the airport (the airport has a passenger handling capacity of 5 million).

The international look of the new terminal at Kolkata and Delhi's T3-like feel are just some of the surprises that the new airport has in line for those who walk into it. The landscaping of the integrated terminal will have references to Rabindranath Tagore's writings.

According to officials, the arrival corridor and hall of the airport terminal have been built in such a way that they allow the smooth switching of operations between the domestic and international terminal.


At the heart of the building a landscape courtyard sits; the roof above looks like it's clothed in silk.

The central roof canopy, with an estimated area of nearly 24,000 sq. m is designed to facilitate rainwater harvesting. The design allows natural light into the terminal building's interiors.

The terminal building will be equipped with modern passenger facilities and state-of-the-art security arrangements. This apart, a modern exit taxiway from the main runway to the secondary runway is also on the cards.


Currently, there are two operational runways at the Kolkata airport. The main runway has a length of nearly 3,627 m and can handle wide-body aircraft of up to the Boeing 747-400 type.

The extension of the secondary runway was delayed after questions were raised about the shifting of a mosque located inside the premises. The secondary runway has a length of 2,839 m and handles the smaller aircrafts.

Construction of the new ATC tower too has been temporarily postponed.

According to officials, since automation of the ATC has been carried out at the existing terminal building, setting up a new tower at a cost of around Rs 300 crore will be done in the second phase of modernisation of the airport.

Published on June 03, 2012

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