Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials in Kolkata might have to face some hurdles if they try to open the new terminal building for operations before Puja this year.
This is because most airlines, which operate international flights from Kolkata airport, are reluctant to relocate to the new terminal building unless all facilities are made available to them at the new terminal building.
Sources at the airport said international carriers have already told AAI officials that they would not shift their operations to the new terminal building unless an important facility such as the aerobridges are installed and made ready so that passengers could use the aerobridges.
Though none of the airlines have given anything in written to AAI, they have expressed their unwillingness to move to the new integrated terminal building verbally, said sources. The airlines argued that the aerobridges are important for passenger convenience and so that is a mandatory requirement.
“The airlines raised this issue during an informal meeting and have informed the AAI about their stand verbally,” said Captain Sarvesh Gupta, chairman of Airport Operators Committee (AOC).
According to Union minister for urban development and chairman of Airport Advisory Committee (AAC), Saugata Roy, the new terminal would be ready by September 30. He had made this announcement after holding the advisory committee meeting in the first week of August.
The minister also said all 18 aerobridges to be installed at the new integrated terminal building at Kolkata airport are yet to be shipped from Indonesia. The problem is, not a single aerobridge has reached Kolkata till date. According to sources they have not been dispatched from Indonesia.
“AAI authorities would have to inspect the aerobridges and certify them. Once the aerobridges are certified they would be shipped,” said Saugata Roy, Union minister for urban development.