Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of the world’s busiest and reputed to be among the most efficient, is about to make a soft landing in India at Durgapur. After withdrawing from the race to modernise Delhi Airport three years ago, Changi Airport authorities may be given the charge of operating Durgapur’s proposed airport for the first year and a half.
Speaking on behalf of Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Limited (BAPL) director Raj Shekhar Agarwal said, “We are negotiating with Changi authorities for a multi-dimensional tie-up. Asking them to manage the airport is just one of them.”
BAPL is negotiating a four-fold agreement with Changi. Apart from operating the airport it includes proving training to the project personnel, reviewing the airport plan and even overseeing the project management consultant’s job. Just a few days ago Changi inaugurated a terminal dedicated to budget airlines, which it said was built at a cost of $100 (Singaporean) per sq ft. This rate seems to have caught the fancy of BAPL.
Incidentally, in terms of population Asansol-Durgapur urban agglomeration is currently the second largest not to have an airport with scheduled civilian flights. (Nashik is the first.) BAPL is implementing the project which consists of the airport, a township with social infrastructure and even a small industrial cluster, spread over 2,300 acres. It is expected to entail an investment of Rs 1,824 crore spread over five years.