The country’s first greenfield airport in the private sector has chosen Simplex Infrastructures for construction of the airport. The airport is supposed to be functional by April 2012.
Following a board meeting of Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL), a Kolkata-based company building the project, construction work of R200 crore airport would begin immediately at Andal, 185 km to the north of Kolkata. For the first two years Changi Airports International, Singapore will be responsible for operations and management of the airport.
The airport (4C category) would be a regional airport, designed to handle aircraft such as Airbus 320/319 and Boeing 737. It would have an initial runway length of 2,800 metre that can be extended to 3,300 metre to handle larger aircraft.
The project is located in the heart of the Asansol-Durgapur industrial belt. It has a catchment area that is inhabited by 4.5 million people and is one of the two such areas without a scheduled air service, the other being Nashik in Maharastra.
The project consists of an airport, an industrial park, a logistics hub, and an IT park. It will be spread over 2,100 acre (1,200 acres in the first phase), out of which 1,350 to 1,500 acre will be used for the airport.
The project was initiated in 2007-2008 when opposition to land acquisition was at its heights in West Bengal, but it successfully went ahead by acquiring only arid and monocrop land. The project also unveiled a land-for-land compensation policy whereby those who gave land for the project were given a plot of land in addition to monetary compensation and vocational training.