Gateway To North Bengal: Work On New Terminal Of Bagdogra Airport Set To Commence Next Month

Amit Mishra

Feb 19, 2024, 11:27 AM | Updated 11:42 AM IST

Bagdogra Airport (AAI)
Bagdogra Airport (AAI)

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is gearing up to start construction on the new terminal and associated infrastructure at Bagdogra airport next month, said Darjeeling MP Raju Bista.

“The foundation stone for the new terminal and infrastructure expansion will be laid next month" said Bista, after chairing the meeting of the airport’s advisory committee.

Bagdogra airport, also known as Siliguri International Airport, stands as the second busiest in the state and serves as the gateway to several hill stations in the North Bengal region, including Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kurseong, Kalimpong, and Mirik.

Located 9 km southwest of the city center in Bagdogra, the airport operates as a civil enclave at Bagdogra Air Force Station. Recognised as a limited international airport since 2002, it offers services to destinations like Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi and Paro and enjoys the distinction of having zero sales tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) among Indian airports.

The existing terminal building covers an area of 10,000 sq m and can accommodate 400 peak-hour passengers.

According to Bista, the Centre has allocated Rs 3,000 crore for this project, with half of the funds earmarked for the first phase. The tender process for Rs 1,000 crore worth of civil work has been finalized, with a Bengaluru-based firm awarded the work order. The remaining Rs 500 crore will be allocated for interior work.

Bista disclosed that the first phase, slated for completion by April 2026, will see the construction of a terminal spanning 70,000 square metres, with an additional 50,000 square metres planned for subsequent phases. The installation of six aero bridges and four remote bridges in the first phase will substantially boost the airport's capacity to accommodate flights.

In the second phase, the number of aerobridges will increase to 10, along with the addition of two remote bridges, enabling the airport to handle up to 16 flights simultaneously — a significant enhancement from the current capacity of four or five flights in parking bays.

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