Rs.16-bn upgrade of Kolkata airport launched (Lead)

December 29th, 2008 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 29 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Monday set the ball rolling for a Rs.16-billion upgrade of the international airport here, which will include a new terminal, modern taxiways and extension of a runway so that it can handle the giant Airbus A-380 aircraft.The modernisation project is targeted for completion by May 2011, said a senior official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport.

The launch of the project was attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechuri.

The upgrade will raise the airport’s handling capacity to around 20 million passengers annually from 4.9 million now - 4.06 million for domestic and the remaining 882,000 for international air travel.

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