The state government is mulling developing an airport at Mayapur, in Nadia district, where the reportedly world’s largest temple is being built on 700-acre land. Expansion works for Bagdogra and Andal airports are also afoot.
State is said to be in discussions with the Airports Authority of India for developing the airport at Mayapur, said sources.
At the Bengal Global Business Summit 2022, JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal had said he was impressed after looking at the Temple of Vedic Planetarium that is being constructed at Mayapur, which is expected to draw a huge number of tourists in the coming days. Mayapur is already a tourist destination where devotees from across the world come to visit the ISKCON temple.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee assured that Bengal will gain more prominence on the world tourism map with the development. Sources said that construction of the airport at Mayapur will help increase connectivity and reduce travel time. The plan is just in the discussion stage as the land is yet to be identified for it.
Miss Banerjee told industrialists that investing in Bengal also improves the scope of extending the business opportunity to the northeast. She highlighted that in the coming years the Bagdogra and Andal airports would also undergo capacity expansion.
An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said the capacity expansion for Bagdogra airport is already afoot. The existing passenger terminal had a capacity to handle 0.75 million passengers but with the handover of land by the state government to the AAI in March, this year, a new terminal building will be constructed. About Rs 11.26 crore was allocated for the development of Bagdogra airport in the last three years.
The Andal airport in Durgapur, which has a runway of 2800m x 45m, is also undergoing an expansion of its parking bay area to accommodate more aircraft, confirmed an AAI official. Presently, the airport has the capacity of handling narrow-body aircraft like the Airbus A320.
Meanwhile, to take off the load from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport, Kolkata, the state government is searching for land to set up another airport, near Kolkata. Sources said that land is being searched at Bhangor in South 24-Parganas. In the meantime, the Behala airport in Kolkata will be ready to handle passenger flight operations in the next one-two year which will expectedly take some load off the Kolkata airport.