Sunday, 5 March 2017

Update from Bagdogra Airport - Soon Flights will Operate 16 hours a day from 6am to 10pm

Terminal Building at Bagdogra Airport was constructed about 15 years back and has got a passenger handling capacity of 0.75 million passengers per annum. However the building presently handles about double its capacity with inadequate space for car park near the Terminal Building. AAI is also not able to maintain the mandatory minimum distance required for car park from the Terminal Building to meet the security norms stipulated by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. Although AAI is making all out efforts to cope with the increase in passenger traffic and provide minimum basic facilities to the passengers through adhoc and short term measures, considering the growth potential of Bagdogra Airport a new integrated Civil Enclave with an integrated terminal with the handling capacity of 1000 peak hour passengers at a time, civil apron and other allied facilities including car park needs to be constructed. In the interim, with an aim of providing better services, AAI has undertaken modification work in phases to increase the floor area and is converting a part of area to the much needed Security Hold Area.

The summer schedule received at Bagdogra is depicting a healthy growth in Air Traffic. The number of flights will increase from the current 16-17 to roughly 24-25 per day. The passenger growth at Bagdogra has been fabulous. It is primarily driven by cheap fuel Zero VAT on ATF and peace on the hills of Darjeeling. The catchment areas it serves are mountains of Darjeeling & Sikkim, the wildlife of Dooars and passengers destined to Northern parts of Bihar. The passenger number is expected to Double in the last 4 years and end close to 14 lakh this FY.

YEAR PAX NO.
2016-17 12, 06,244 till Jan 2017 (34%) [At this growth rate Bagdogra will handle 14, 11,343 Passengers till 31st March’ 2017] 2015-16 10, 85,649 (5%) 2014-15 10, 35,887 (43.6%) 2013-14 7, 21,365 (8%) 2012-13 6, 66,779 (-9%)

The present Summer Schedule for Bagdogra has been circulated. The airport will handle 20 arrivals and 18 departures between 1200 Hrs and 1600 Hrs. Considering the fact that the terminal building and associated facilities cannot cater to such a huge surge of passengers, airlines are being requested to spread their flights so that an acceptable level of service is maintained at Bagdogra Airport. AAI on its part has increased the strength of housekeeping staff but cooperation of airlines is required to give a better experience to passengers. The Instrument Landing System (ILS) being installed by IAF will make it possible for aircraft to land at Bagdogra early morning or late evening when the visibility is generally poor and not conducive to landing with the present instrument. This will permit airlines to spread their flights and operate in a 16 hour time span from 6 am to 10 pm.

Airports Authority of India, Bagdogra Airport