India’s first private greenfield airport at Andal in West Bengal’s Burdwan district is likely to be ready for operations by April this year to handle both commercial as well as passenger traffic, an official said.
"The final calibration of navigational aids at the (Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Andal) airport by Airport Authority (of India) is done. Now, we expect to get final DGCA licence in a month," state Transport Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay told media persons at Andal on Monday.
He said Pinnacle Air, a non-scheduled airline, will begin its operations from Durgapur four days a week connecting Bagdogra, Coochbehar, Durgapur and Kolkata soon after getting license from the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Spread across an area of 650 acres, the facility is promoted by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL). The state government owns a 1.2 percent stake in the private firm with Singapore’s Changi Airport being the single largest shareholder in the airport.
The firm’s managing director Partha Ghosh said it is in the negotiations stage with Air India and IndiGo for scheduled flights departure and arrivals for a Delhi-Durgapur route and Air Costa, a non-schedule airline for connecting south Indian cities like Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
According to state officials, the government has given a 100 percent waiver on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) surcharge for a period of three years, which was a major demand from scheduled flight operators.
The three-years’ waiver on ATF has been given to Coochbehar and Bagdogra airports in north Bengal.