The new terminal building of the NSC Bose International Airport, which will be commissioned within four months, will help promote tourism and generate employment, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said after meeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday.
“Expansion of the aviation sector will require land. Modernisation of Netaji Subhas Airport in Kolkata will not only be important for eastern India, but it will be also the gateway to southeast Asia,” he said.
He said they discussed certain political issues without getting into the details but assured that FDI (foreign direct investment) in the sector was not discussed.
“At the moment, the Kolkata airport caters to 10 lakh commuters annually and the target is to serve 40 lakh people,” he said. He also said there were plans to upgrade the Coochbehar and Malda airports along with speeding up the airport project in Durgapur.
Banerjee said the Kolkata airport work will be completed by the Pujas. “Talks are on with the planning commission about the Coochbehar airport and there had been some problem with a culvert. It is being looked into and hopefully would soon be solved. In Malda, there is a land belonging to the Railways. We are in discussion with the Railway ministry to work that out,” she said and added that the government was also trying for helicopter connectivity in Balurghat, Sunderban, Mirik, Haldia and Digha.
It was also learnt that the government would try for a daily flight to Siliguri to improve upon the present set-up of three days a week. “We are also trying for night service to Bagdogra and more international flights from Kolkata,” the CM said.