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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

New terminal to open on Jan 20

Saptarshi Banerjee, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, January 05, 2013
First Published: 13:29 IST(5/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:33 IST(5/1/2013)

The integrated terminal at Kolkata International airport that missed a number of deadlines is finally ready for take off.

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VP Agarwal, chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI), says that the new terminal will be inaugurated on January 20. “However, flight operations will begin only from January 23,” he told HT from New Delhi.

Agarwal said the new date is sacrosanct and there will be no more missed deadlines. Missing deadlines is not new for the AAI, which has already missed six deadlines in the past. At present there are apprehensions that the organisation may even fail to meet the seventh deadline.

The last deadline that the organisation failed to meet was September 30. Though the AAI has not announced the next deadline as January 23, but sources confirmed to HT that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport would begin operations on January 23, the birth anniversary of the iconic freedom fighter.

“Initially we would start international flight operations from the new terminal building from January 23. Gradually all international operations would be shifted and then we would look at starting domestic flight operations from the new terminal,” Agarwal said.

The Kolkata airport is being developed and modernised at a cost of approximately R2320 crore. The AAI would not charge airport development fee (ADF) from passengers but proposes to charge a minimum amount of user development fee (UDF).

According to sources at the airport AAI officials feel R450 per passenger as user development fee (UDF) would be fine. However, nothing has been officially decided.

“The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) would decide the amount of user development fee (UDF) that passengers would have to pay. It would not be decided by AAI,” said the AAI chairman. The AERA also determines other fees, such as landing, parking and other charges.

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