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Kolkata ( NSCBI ) Airport: past, present and future.
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holiday rush for air tickets
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170311/jsp/calcutta/story_140164.jsp#.WMNTn9QrLGg

March 10: A Bangalore-based IT professional who decided at the last moment to spend Holi with his family back in Calcutta had to shell out Rs 19,000 for a flight tonight.
That's Rs 10,000 more than what airlines usually charge for a last-minute ticket on the route.
Naktala resident Surjyasikha Das missed the 7.40pm Duranta Express for her journey back home from Delhi yesterday. Desperate to return home in time for Holi, the management teacher at JIS University started looking up for airfares but the cheapest on offer was Rs 16,000, more than double the average price on the route.
As thousands working outside Bengal are flying home on the eve of the Dol-Holi weekend, one-way airfares to Calcutta are soaring to the sky in response to the surge in demand.
The surge is in sync with a pattern that has become familiar over the past several years, resulting from Bengal's bleak industrial scene.
The lack of job opportunities is prompting educated youths of the state to flock out in search of a satisfying career. A large number of them fly back home on festive occasions.
"It has been observed over the past several years that the prices of inbound tickets go up at the start of a festive season. Outbound fares, on the other hand, surge once a festival gets over and people fly out to their workplaces," a travel industry insider said.
A one-way fare from Mumbai to Calcutta was varying between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000 on a portal for booking air tickets tonight. The average one-way fare on the route, tour operators say, is Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000.
The Calcutta-Mumbai fare has gone up too - to Rs 15,000 - but it was still much less than the inbound fare.
To put things in perspective, a round trip to Bangkok usually costs around Rs 16,000.
"Inbound airfares surge before long weekends as hundreds of professionals working outside the state return. But this weekend the fares to Calcutta from cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai have escalated to a level usually seen during the Puja," said Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India.
The fares from Calcutta to these cities were below Rs 10,000 tonight.
Airline officials said seats were filling up fast this evening and most Calcutta-bound flights in the late hours had one or two vacant seats left. "The fares are going up every hour for Calcutta-bound flights," said Debjit Ghosh, regional sales, head (east), SpiceJet.
Airport officials said they recorded a spurt in the passenger footfall in the arrival lounge this evening and the trend continued for several hours.
Comment: A state without its white color population will not last long. Babus wake up !
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green field airport project at Sikkim ( Pakyong Airport ):

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Greenfield+Airport+Pakyong/@27.233213,88.5892754,448m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x39e6a6f040d934d7:0xaccc3415d6a00fde!2sGreenfield+Airport+Pakyong!8m2!3d27.226356!4d88.5876302!3m4!1s0x39e6a6f040d934d7:0xaccc3415d6a00fde!8m2!3d27.226356!4d88.5876302?hl=en

The airport is being built by the AAI at an estimated cost of 605 crore[2] featuring a 1,700 m × 30 m (5,577 ft × 98 ft) runway and a 116 m (381 ft) long taxiway connecting it to an apron measuring 106 by 76 metres (348 ft × 249 ft) that can accommodate two ATR 72 aircraft at a time.
Also under construction are a terminal building measuring 2,380 m2 (25,600 sq ft) with a capacity of 100 passengers, a car park for 80 vehicles and a fire station cum Air Traffic Control Tower. The airport is expected to have navigation facilities such as NDB, DVOR, High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL), airport beacon, and a PAPI.[8]
The land for the airport was carved from the mountainside using massive geotechnical 'cut and fill' engineering works. These state-of-the-art geogrid soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques were employed as traditional retaining structures and embankments were ruled out as being unfeasible. Irish geotechnical company Maccaferri executed the project that envisaged a 550 m (1,800 ft) wide, 1.7 km (1.1 mi) long corridor on which the runway and airport buildings are to be constructed. Will be functional by 2017-18 and the latest addition of high altitude Himalayan airports list.
( From Wikipedia )
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Green field airport project at Sikkim ( Pakyong Airport ):
Thanks for the update, Sir. In case I get lucky, I may be able to have a dekko at this site sometime this year.
On a different note, I am just back from your favourite city. Calcutta.
Some notes:
- Lots of infra projects all around. I could hardly recognise the route from VIP road through the EM bypass to the Jadavpur connector
- Reorientation at CCU T2. More immigration counters. I came in on my favourite flight AI 020: an international connector. The entire immigration area has been expanded, and re-organised. Looks good!
- The South-East end construction is on in full swing. The F-27 looks to have been broken up as the land around it comes under construction. The Biju Patnaik DC-3 and the HS-748 look as they looked like, over the past 4-5 years.
- The terminal has many more F&B outlets.
- Overall, the terminal has been maintained well
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sabya99
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update. Sikkim needs an airport no matter how small the runway is.
Yes Kolkata airport/VIP road area is getting very crowded. Metro rail link is essential. But the real change is taking place inside the airport. New apron construction in the East and other places will make the airport unrecognizable. But we have to wait years. I follow these developments from the sky! Let us hope for a better Kolkata!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jet Airways launched the first direct flight between Mumbai and Bagdogra on Sunday. The flight was given a water salute when it made the first landing at Bagdogra.
So far, Calcutta and Delhi were other metros which were connected to Bagdogra through non-stop flights. There are other flights between Mumbai and Bagdogra but they have stopovers at other airports.
The Jet Airways flight leaves Mumbai at 10.05am and arrives at Bagdogra at 1pm. The return flight would depart at 1.35pm and reach Mumbai at 4.35pm.
"The bookings are encouraging. This is the longest flight in terms of duration from Bagdogra. It is a major development and will help bring in more passengers to the region. As of now, around 22 flights operate out of Bagdogra everyday. The number will increase in due course," said Rakesh Sahay, the Bagdogra airport director.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170327/jsp/siliguri/story_142904.jsp#.WNkLy9IrKvF
Comment: Hope some day Bangalore/MAA will also be connected with North Bengal.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will the UK and US drop from Kolkatans’ favourite summer holiday destinations?
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/will-the-uk-and-us-drop-from-kolkatans-favourite-summer-holiday-destinations/articleshow/57842843.cms

KOLKATA: School exams are almost over and most smitten by the travel bug are expected to begin planning their summer vacations now. But two recent events in the United States of Americaand United Kingdom have posed a new question. Will Kolkatans prefer to give the US and UK a miss and try out other travel destination during the summer months?

Concerns are there though it's a little too early to press the panic button, said travel agents. "Students have just finished their exams. People have begun planning their summer vacations. We have noticed some apprehensions among travellers as far as travelling to US and UK on vacation during the summers. They have been checking out other destinations," said Anil Punjabi, chairman (east) of the Travel Agents' Federation of India,


However, Punjabi also pointed out that public memory is short. Soon, they might forget about these hassles. UK has always been a good travel destination for Kolkatans, Punjabi said. This year, the added incentive is the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy that is scheduled to be held in England and Wales between June 1 and 18. There is always a chance of Kolkatans making a beeline to UK during that time of the year.


Sajan Kumar Gupta, who is the eastern chapter chairman of Outbound Tour Operations of India (OTOAI), said "Travel of students and techies to the US might be affected. Those who really want to visit the US will opt for flights that take a route which avoids Abu Dhabi." On cancellations of UK trips, Gupta said, "If people cancel their summer trips to UK citing the terror attack as a reason, I'd say that they want to avoid the UK for other reasons. The terror attack will come across to me as just an excuse for them to cancel a vacation during summers to England."


As for the new summer destinations, Punjabi said that he is now seeing a lot of takers for Sri Lanka, Burma and China apart from the evergreen destinations like Bangkok, Singapore and Malaysia. "Direct flights are available to Sri Lanka. I see the demand to visit Sri Lanka picking up. Many want to explore Burma. Even China has takers. Some are also wanting to opt for Australia and New Zealand since it will be cold there when we have summers here," Punjabi said.


Gupta is predicting a rise in Kolkata tourists to Croatia and Japan during the summers. "Croatia is emerging as another favourite. Some even want to try out Japan. However, I wouldn't advice travellers to opt for Sri Lanka during the summers because of the weather conditions there," Gupta said.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laptops till Abu Dhabi boarding gate
- iPads and free Wi-fi in first & biz class

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170330/jsp/calcutta/story_143504.jsp#.WNz-SdIrKvE

March 29: Calcuttans flying to the US by Etihad Airways can carry laptops, tablets and other devices till the boarding gate in Abu Dhabi.
The airline has also announced that passengers in the first and business class will get iPads and enjoy Wi-fi connectivity on board the flight from Abu Dhabi. The services will be provided from April 2, the Gulf carrier has told tour operators.
The Donald Trump administration has banned carrying electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and e-book readers bigger than smart phones in cabin baggage on US-bound flights from several countries, including the UAE and Qatar.
Etihad sources said economy, business and first-class passengers were allowed to use electronic devices such as laptops and tablets till the boarding gate in Abu Dhabi, where they will have to be handed over to the airline staff for being carried as part of the registered luggage.
The passengers can retrieve their devices on reaching their destination in the US.
Earlier, the Emirates airline had announced that its passengers would be allowed to use laptops and other devices till they board their flights to the US.
Emirates customers travelling to the US via Dubai can carry the devices in their hand luggage on the first leg of the journey and also during transit in Dubai. After that the devices will have to be carried as part of registered luggage.
Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways together account for 600 seats daily out of Calcutta.
Between 25 and 30 per cent passengers are for the US and a similar number fly to Europe.

As for Wi-fi connectivity and iPads for first and business class passengers, a communication from Etihad to travel agents says: "To help your customers keep in touch with work, friends and family, we are offering first and business class guests free Wi-fi and iPads on all our US-bound flights from Abu Dhabi."
"Wi-fi vouchers will be provided by our cabin crew with the onboard welcome drink, providing free Wi-fi for the duration of the flight. In addition, we'll have iPads available for those that need them. Power and USB sockets at every seat will help keep devices charged."
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Direct flight to connect Kolkata with Kashmir

KOLKATA: A trip to Kashmir is all set to get convenient from this Poila Boishakh as the city is going to have its first direct and daily flight to the picturesque state in north India.

IndiGo is going to start the service with a 180-seater airbus that is scheduled to leave Kolkata at 5.40am every day to reach Jammu at 8.55am. The flight will then travel further, till Srinagar, after a 20-minute halt at Jammu.

Speaking to TOI, Ajay S Jasra, the head of corporate communications for the airline, said they had been exploring the possibilities along some of the routes for quite some time before finalising the Kolkata-Kashmirservice.

"We had found that there were several passengers from Bengal heading Kashmir in almost every season. While most of them head to Vaishno Devi, many tourists opt for places like Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonmarg. Hence, we decided to start the service," said Jasra, who was in the city on Tuesday.

According to Jasra, the response so far has been overwhelming as more than 50% of the seats for the first journey is already booked (the booking opened on March 15). The flight will take off from Srinagar at 10.25am and fly non-stop to reach Travel industry sources in Kolkata said about 60,000 tourists, many in large groups, visit Kashmir during the March-May and the Puja month.


"It's a great move . There are several elderly fliers every year who have a hard time reaching Kashmir. But this new direct is going to make the journey convenient," said Anil Punjabi, chairman (east) of the Travel Agents Federation of India.


Other airline operators said they welcomed the move but doubted its feasibility. "It's a good initiative but Kashmir generally has a seasonal crowd. I wonder how many passengers they would carry during the monsoon and winter. More so, given the current situation in the state, I doubt if they would be able to continue with the service for long," said a senior official of a private airline.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/direct-flight-to-connect-kolkata-with-kashmir/articleshow/58016285.cms
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitch for taller airport tower
Sanjay Mandal
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170407/jsp/calcutta/story_145010.jsp#.WOeJpUUrKvE

April 6: A "technical" decision to reduce the proposed height of a new air traffic control tower at Calcutta airport by almost half is being reviewed after the state government wrote to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), seeking feedback on doubts raised by field crew.
The government's intervention is in response to a representation to chief minister Mamata Banerjee by the Air Traffic Controllers' Guild, which wants the height of the tower to be restored to the originally proposed 112 metres. The tender for the contract mentions a height of 57 metres.
"The airport has two runways and three of the four ends have an instrument landing system; so it won't be much of a problem to have a taller tower. The airport building is expanding too and the parking bays are moving further away. Taller the tower, better the visibility," said Kailash Pati Mandal, secretary of the ATC Guild's regional unit.
The guild had appended a technical study to its representation, explaining why a tower of the originally specified height was a better option.
An ATC tower is used to monitor and guide flights and the height of the structure enables a clear view of aircraft landing, taking off or taxiing. Several ATC personnel whom Metro spoke to said a 360-degree view of moving aircraft from a reasonable height was crucial to averting collisions in the technical area and also during take-off and landing.
Sanjay Jain, regional executive director (eastern region) of the AAI, said the "technical reasons" behind reducing the proposed height of the tower were being reconsidered. "Discussions are on at the Delhi headquarters. We are waiting for the decision. Although the tender has been floated, it is still possible to change the plan," he said.
Another AAI official said that if the tower were to 112 metres in height, it could obstruct a key navigational aid because of its proximity to the runways. The VHF Omnidirection Range navigational aid helps in knowing the position of an aircraft as well as during a "non-precision approach" for landing. The transmitter on the ground informs the ATC tower about the angle and distance of the aircraft from the airport, helping it guide the pilots in the absence of an instrument landing system.
The opposing view is that at 57 metres, the tower would not provide an unobstructed picture of the entire technical area and the parking bays that have shifted further away since the integrated terminal was built.
The AAI had first invited contract bids to build a new tower in 2008, fixing the height at 86 metres. This was taller than Mumbai airport's 83.8-metre tower but shorter than Delhi's 102-metre structure.
The tender was cancelled and there was a lull until 2016, when the AAI revised the proposed tower's height to 112 metres. The reduction in height to 57 metres is mentioned in the last tender floated this January.
On March 22, transport commissioner R. Maity wrote to Jain, forwarding the copy of the ATC Guild's representation. "I am directed to request you to send this department a feedback on the issue raised by the organisation (ATC Guild) at an early date for subsequent transmission of the same to the chief minister's office for information," states the letter.
Comment: Another sign of incompetent AAI administration. As if they don't know the importance of Kolkata ATC complex.Go ask IAF people.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

17 more flights to touch down at Kolkata, Bagdogra.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/17-more-flights-to-touch-down-at-kolkata-bagdogra/articleshow/58136014.cms


KOLKATA: Airports in Kolkata and Bagdogra will be a lot busier this summer than earlier as the regulator, DGCA, gave the nod for a bevy of flights to Bengal's twin airports. Kolkata will add at least 11 more flights by May and Bagdogra six.

Though airlines have been granted many more slots till September, they are subject to availability of aircraft. All Indian carriers are set to augment their fleet as Airbus Industrie and Boeing Co delivers the orders placed with it and some carriers, such as Air India, take more planes on lease. Air Asia India will be the new addition to the airlines that will start services between Kolkata and Delhi and Ranchi from Poila Baisakh, the Bengali new year on April 15. Its Bagdogra flights will start later.


"We are prepared for the additional flights and augmenting the facilities at the airport. In-line baggage will be operational by July-August. Retail, which has begun, will be fully operational in two months, so will the new food court next to Biswa Bangla and the more spacious duty-free facility," said Kolkata airport director Atul Dikshit.


IndiGo, the largest airline operating out of Kolkata with 78 departures a day, will add six daily flights, including one to Srinagar from April 15. This will take its departure count to 84, with more lined up. Jet Airways will add at least two more flights— to Mumbai and Lucknow—taking its departures to 29. The carrier is also set to replace its ageing ATR-72 fleet with Boeing 737-800 aircraft. SpiceJet will start a service to Dhaka and to Silchar, taking the departure number to 24. Vistara will add a new flight to Pune, logging seven departures, while Air India, which has 23 departures, will add two flights to Bengaluru and Ranchi.


The Bagdogra airport, already bursting at the seams, has to content with four more flights, including three to Delhi and one to Mumbai. While Jet Airways has introduced the Mumbai service, IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir will get one more frequency to Delhi each. This will take the daily Delhi-Bagdogra services to 13. "The hills, forests and tea estates in Darjeeling, Sikkim and the Dooars are drawing Western tourists in big numbers. Every airline is keen to operate more Bagdogra-Delhi flights," said Badgogra airport director Rakesh Sahay. With the terminal operating beyond its capacity, tackling flyers will be tough. AAI has urged airlines to operate before noon or after 4pm.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comments:
- the developments at CCU sound very positive. In-line scanning by this summer, retail, food court and duty free.
- `replace the ageing ATR fleet with B738': ha ha! typical Times of India reporting
- The IAF showing open-mindedness on Bagdogra is an excellent move, and will add to the demand and the connectivity. The infra needs to be upgraded quickly. It is not that it cannot be done. I am back from a quick PAT trip: that Vedic era terminal has been given quite a facelift.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An approach to NSCBI airport new terminal : https://youtu.be/RTeh8kTujLQ
Night time landing and parking at the new terminal : https://youtu.be/g2bvSgrRG3E
Amphibious aircraft taking off from water: https://youtu.be/Wo3Xr5Fxsws
Dreamliner flight from DEL to Kolkata : https://youtu.be/n9-5JjfRGLA
U turn and take off from secondary runway: https://youtu.be/P0B7UAxBr7s
Landing at Kolkata in a non-festive night ; https://youtu.be/_mm77E7l19I
Night time decoration of streets near airport area ; https://youtu.be/8M2QbjyLXMk
On the way to new terminal : https://youtu.be/RTeh8kTujLQ
Airport formalities as per neighboring country; https://youtu.be/TeJjAQ1Yi44
Traveling from Kolkata to Dhaka airport: https://youtu.be/QlmXvMl-3Us
A320 night landing on runway 19L: https://youtu.be/KFYlCHq4c2A
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Emirates to cut US flights after Trump travel restrictions.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39640473
Emirates will reduce flights to five US cities from next month, after new security rules targeted travellers from the Middle East.
The Dubai-based airline said the change was due to weaker demand for US travel.
In March, the US banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from cabin luggage on flights from 10 airports.
This included Dubai, as well as from other airports in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey.
The UK imposed similar rules to the US.
Mr Trump has also signed two executive orders to bar refugees and nationals of several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa from travelling to the US. Those bans have been contested in court.
Emirates' president Tim Clark told reporters last month that demand to the US had fallen by about a third since Mr Trump's announcements.
The airline has also introduced new services to cope with the laptop ban, offering tablets on loan and services to check the electronics in at the gate.
Emirates said it will reduce direct flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando to five a week in May from the current daily flights.
The airline will also cut back its twice-daily flights to Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles to once a day in June.
Fast-growing Emirates made its first flight to North America in 2004. It now serves 12 US destinations, launching its most recent route, between Athens and Newark, just last month.
Comment; Effect of H-ib visa restriction?
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air India plans nonstop flight between Delhi, Los Angeles from September
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/air-india-to-start-flights-in-6-new-routes/articleshow/58589795.cms

NEW DELHI: Hollywood could just be 16 hours away from Delhi. Air India is planning a nonstop on Delhi-Los Angeles route from September. The move comes after the huge success of its San Francisco nonstop with people lapping up this direct service to California. The airline is also planning to start flights to Africa after a gap of several years.

AI chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a Facebook post on Tuesday: "To Washingtonfrom 7th July; Stockholm from 15th August and Los Angeles from 1st September to be followed by Tel Aviv, Dallas and Nairobi sometime later during the year 2017 itself. Air India spreads its wings far and wide."

Apart from Washington, the other dates are tentative from when AI plans to start these flights. A senior airline official said: "There is huge demand for travel between India and the West Coast of US. We are looking at thrice a week nonstop between Delhi and Los Angeles to begin with. The plan for Stockholm is of a similar frequency and nonstop Washington service will also start as three times a week. Our nonstop product is being increasingly chosen by flyers as they want to travel direct (between India and US) and not one or two stops."

Comment: This is fine for me as long as they keep toilets clean. Also they should encourage toilet trained passengers in their flights. 16 hrs of nonstop flight is too much!
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Comment: Also they should encourage toilet trained passengers in their flights.
...and what do you suggest in this regard, Sir?
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avoid dehati public in long trips!! Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sikkim’s upcoming airport raises hopes among people of breaking barriers

Built at a cost of 300 crores, the airport at an altitude of 4,700 feet will be among the five highest airports in the country.
Emila Shenga had set out from her home state Sikkim to take the civil service examination in New Delhi, but she never made it. A landslide on the only road that connects her mountainous state to the Bagdogra airport in neighbouring West Bengal put paid to her IAS aspirations.
“I was a hostage to Sikkim’s landlocked geography,” recounted a distraught Shenga. Thousands of others have silently suffered similarly with Sikkim’s connectivity to the rest of the country dependant only on a single road passing through West Bengal.
But for the first time ever since Sikkim joined the Indian Union as its 22nd state in 1974, an high-altitude airport that is set to go operational by the year-end has raised hopes among its 6,00,000 residents of breaking free of the state’s physical barriers.
A Greenfield airport at Pakyong, about 35km from the state capital Gangtok, promises to provide direct connectivity to the tiny Himayalan state.
“The work for the airport has been completed and it will be inaugurated by the year end,” said a senior official of the Airport Authority of India.
Built at a cost of 300 crores, the airport at an altitude of 4,700 feet will be among the five highest airports in the country. True to its altitude, the airport has already let hopes of the people to soar.
“Once the Pakyong airport is inaugurated, it will ensure that Sikkim people do not have to travel 124 km via the choked National Highway 10 to catch a flight. Direct air connectivity will further boost tourism - the mainstay of the state’s revenue,” Sikkim’s long-time chief minister Pawan Chamling told HT.
Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sikkim-s-upcoming-airport-raises-hopes-among-people-of-breaking-barriers/story-08LOW4wSb9mWWaoXHR19ZN.html
Comment: I hope this new airport can handle ATR 72-600. Then there will be a traffic jam at the top of the world!
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Avoid dehati public in long trips!! Rolling Eyes
Is that practical? How do you plan to enforce this, Sir?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Comment: I hope this new airport can handle ATR 72-600. Then there will be a traffic jam at the top of the world!
That is the idea, Sir. Do you think there is any other option right now? Practically, I mean? AI will possibly fly there under the UDAN scheme, or the route may be given to someone else with AT7-6s (Indigo?), or SpiceJet (Q4s). The other operators identified under the RCS do not seem to have any serious long-time operational credentials.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiki-taka, long passes at airport to tackle World Cup parking rush

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/58741935.cms




Surge in air travel in the past couple of years and a large number of additions in early-morning and late-night flights has led to demand for night parking. Of the 51 bays at Kolkata airport, 33 are occupied at night. The rest are kept operational for flights that arrive and take off at night, for exigencies, and VIP movement.
Till now, officials at Kolkata airport have not had to handle the pressure of a sudden spike in flights due to the absence of big-ticket events in the city. Even during the Bengal Global Business Summit in January and Kolkata's matches in the Indian Premier League in April-May, there is no additional demand for parking bays.The World Cup is expected to change that. Featuring players who will be future football stars, the matches are expected to draw audiences from far and wide. Apart from planes that fly in the teams, fans are expected to arrive in chartered planes. In addition, celebrities and businessmen are sure to zip down to the city for the final. Mukesh and Nita Ambani are expected to arrive in their Airbus A319 aircraft. "Kolkata airport will try to accommodate small planes. But for narrow-body aircraft like Airbus A 320 and Boeing B 737 and bigger aircraft, night parking will be a challenge. We are in the process of launching a project on expanding the parking bay capacity. But it will take at least a year for a part of the facility to be ready," said Dikshit.
The Rs 80-crore project involves setting up of 23 parking bays to the east of the runway along Narayanpur. That will take the parking bay count to 74. Soil testing is expected to start soon and tenders will be floated in a couple of months. Apart from the bays, the project also includes vehicle lane, safety lane, push back zone and taxi track.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Class divide tells on Calcutta skies
- Vistara to discontinue flights between city and Bangalore from next month
Sanjay Mandal

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170531/jsp/frontpage/story_154419.jsp

Calcutta, May 30: Vistara will stop its flights on the Bangalore-Calcutta-Guwahati route from June 16, reflecting the drought of business class traffic between the eastern cities and one of the most popular destinations in the country.
The airline, owned by the Tatas and Singapore Airlines, has reposed faith in Calcutta as a "destination of strategic importance" but analysts pointed out that the discontinuation was another telling sign of the paucity of corporate traffic from and to Calcutta.
The lack of demand for premium seats has been the reason several international airlines had dropped Calcutta from their radar.
Low-cost airlines have found the going smoother in the city, operating all-economy class flights and depending largely on students and patients on their way to educational institutions and healthcare facilities in the south. The nature of the traffic is also a telling comment on some of the problems Bengal has been struggling with for decades.
Techies do travel in and out of the city but such traffic is usually confined to weekends and the holiday seasons.
Vistara, which had started operations from Calcutta a year ago in June 2016 and the Bangalore services later last year, operates two flights on the Bangalore-Calcutta-Guwahati route daily.
The airline was gracious in its statement: "Due to commercial reasons and as part of continual network optimisation, Vistara will discontinue its operations on the Bangalore-Calcutta-Guwahati route, effective June 16, 2017. Flights to Delhi, Port Blair and newly introduced Pune, will continue with no changes, and additional flights and frequencies are expected to be added to Calcutta as the airline grows its fleet. Calcutta remains a destination of strategic importance to Vistara."
Aviation industry sources said that for airlines operating flights from Calcutta, Bangalore is one of the most popular sectors after Delhi and Mumbai.

Calcutta airport officials said 16 daily flights operate between the city and Bangalore. Some felt supply outstrips demand. If so, consider Delhi and Mumbai, from where at least 61 and 47 flights, respectively, serve the Bangalore route daily.
But corporate traffic is the lifeblood for the aviation industry and business-starved Bengal has not too many such fliers.
Officials of several airlines said barely 10 per cent of the business class seats in the full-service airlines are filled daily on average. This means loss of maximum revenue for an airline.
A business class seat costs between Rs 30,000 and Rs 35,000 for a one-way trip to Bangalore. Average one-way economy class fare rules between Rs 5,000 and Rs 6,000. "The revenue from one business class seat is equivalent to that of six to seven economy seats," pointed out an official of a full service airline.
"From Calcutta, mostly students and those going for treatment are the regular fliers to Bangalore. We see corporate traffic movement only in the weekends and holiday seasons when they fly home and again return to work," said Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India. "Also, the number of flights now outstrips demand," he said.
Low yield was the reason British Airways had pulled out from the city in 2009. German airline Lufthansa, which was Calcutta's last direct connection to Europe, also withdrew its Frankfurt flight in 2010.
Comment: Why Tata had to go to Kolkata in the first place.I think low cost airliners are doing a far better job. Let them fly now!
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kolkata eyes 40m flyers annually in next 4 yrs
Tamaghna Banerjee

http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31812&articlexml=Kolkata-eyes-40m-flyers-annually-in-next-4-14062017001075


Kolkata airport is all set to increase its passenger capacity by 100% to handle up to 40 million passengers annually within the next four years.
At a function organized by Airports Authority of India at Nazrul Mancha on Tuesday afternoon, Kolkata airport director Atul Dixit said: “We have started the next phase of our expansion plan as the airport is on the verge of reaching its capacity of 20 million passengers annually . In the next four years, we are going to expand it to hold 40 million passengers yearly .“ When the new terminal was inaugurated in 2013, the airport had an annual pas senger traffic of just above 9 million while it was designed to handle 20 million passengers. However, in the last four years, the annual passenger count has increased to 16 million, a growth of 77.8%. “As per the growth trend, in another year, the terminal will get cramped for space in the absence of an expansion plan and so we had to act real quick to tackle the situation,“ Dixit told TOI.
Airport officials said as per the first phase of the expansion plan, the authorities are going to link the old terminal of the airport with the new one by walkalators and aerobridges.
“We will connect the corridor of the old terminal with the new one with the help of three aerobridges and walkalators and would also have walk-in gates on the ground floor. We will use this building for boarding and de-boarding of passengers. Passengers getting down in the old terminal would take the connecting bridge to take the new terminal and then leave the airport,“ said the official. This would help reduce pe ak-hour congestion when several flights do not get enough apron space. “This plan is ready and hopefully by the end of this financial year, this process will be completed. This would immediately increase the passenger capacity by a few million and would solve the spa ce crunch for the time being,“ said an airport official.
The official added that a master plan has already been made for the construction of a third terminal that can finally take up the airport passenger capacity to 40 million. The plan has received the first nod from the aviation ministry .
“The new third terminal will come up at the north of the current integrated terminal.The Air Traffic Navigation Building or ATC and the old international terminal that are situated beyond the old domestic terminal will be demolished to make way for the new terminal building,“ said an official.
He added that the new terminal is expected to house only domestic flights while a larger portion of the existing integrated terminal will be allotted to international flights.
At the programme titled “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sammelan“, also had Radha Mohan Singh, the union minister for Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, former union minister for civil aviation and current BJP spokesperson as the primary speakers.
Dixit also added at the programme that the ministry of civil aviation will introduce special low fare tickets for short journeys to open air travel to all and sundry . He also mentioned that the Kolkata airport is soon going to have new hangars and bays as part of the expansion plan.

Comment: The area occupied by old terminal should have been demolished long ago as it is unused most of the time. The northern/ eastern part of the airfield should also be developed as of now it is barren wooded area only.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expat plea to Mamata for direct flights
Devadeep Purohit in The Hague, Netherlands
June 22: Expatriates from Bengal in the Netherlands today requested visiting chief minister Mamata Banerjee to "do something" for direct air connectivity between Calcutta and Europe, the community's voice capturing the desire to see more business activity in their home state.
After an hour-long session resembling the quintessential Bengali adda - complete with songs, recitation and short speeches thrown in - members of Hoichoi posed with Mamata for a group photograph as a keepsake.
"Didi, please kichhu korun... Europe-er sathe kono direct flight nei Kolkata-r (Didi, please do something. There is no direct flight between Calcutta and Europe)," someone said even as cameras went click-click.
Soon, others in the motley group - 25-odd men and women of various ages - chorused the request for direct flights to Europe. They went on to describe how lack of direct air connectivity between Calcutta and Europe was inconveniencing them. (more )
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170623/jsp/calcutta/story_158281.jsp

Comment: Middle eastern airlines are God’s gift to Kolkata. For the time being use it/enjoy it. You have no choice. Didi could do nothing!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Europe from Calcutta: Jet set, no-go
Sanjay Mandal
June 23: Jet Airways has announced plans to connect three metros directly to Europe but Calcutta has missed the flight once again.
Expatriates from Bengal in the Netherlands had on Thursday requested chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is visiting the country, to push for direct air connectivity between Europe and their home state.
But several officials of the aviation industry told Metro today that little had changed in terms of Bengal's economic potential for airlines to consider starting direct flights between Calcutta and Europe.
Down south, Chennai's ascendancy has prompted Jet Airways to launch a direct flight to Paris from there and one to Amsterdam from Bangalore. The inaugural flights on these routes are scheduled for October 29.
The twin flights are in addition to Jet Airways' direct service to Amsterdam from Delhi and Mumbai. The airline also has a direct flight between Mumbai and Paris.
A Jet Airways official said the airline was looking at another daily flight between Mumbai and London from the same month. Calcutta is not even on the radar.
"As of now, there are no plans to start direct flights to Europe from Calcutta. We have flights to Europe from other cities and Calcutta is connected to these cities by a network of our domestic flights," the official said.
Air India, which had been planning to reintroduce a direct flight from Calcutta to London, has postponed the plan now. "This is not a possibility at this point," said a spokesperson for the airline.
Sources in the aviation sector said Calcutta's viability hadn't improved in terms of passenger load, making airlines wary of flying to Europe direct from the city.
"In the last few meetings with various airlines, it has emerged that they are happy with what the new terminal offers by way of infrastructure. But they want us to guarantee a steady flow of corporate travellers, which we cannot," said Anil Punjabi, chairman (east) of the Travel Agents' Federation of India.
Calcutta has recorded an increase in the number of passengers flying to Europe, but they are mostly tourists, students and people visiting friends and relatives. Corporate travel is what an airline needs to be viable on a route.
At The Hague on Thursday, an expatriate's plea to Mamata had quickly become a chorus: "Didi, please kichhu korun... Europe-er sathe kono direct flight nei Kolkata-r (Didi, please do something. There is no direct flight between Calcutta and Europe),"
Mamata replied: "I understand your problems.... Why don't you give a representation to Jet?"
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170624/jsp/calcutta/story_158482.jsp
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
The area occupied by old terminal should have been demolished long ago as it is unused most of the time. The northern/ eastern part of the airfield should also be developed as of now it is barren wooded area only.
Sir, I do read your forwards, posts and your comments. The plan of using the old T1-D is a fair one, and the article states what is similar to what is being done at MAA right now. The ultimate plan of T3 coming up in place of T1-International is also well-placed. My guess as to why the North is not in any future plan is possibly because of the arrival path. The East: possible, but I guess they want to develop the Western side well right now.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Govt divided over Air India future
https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170626/jsp/business/story_158751.jsp

New Delhi, June 25: The civil aviation ministry will prefer to sell off Air India's subsidiaries to partially clear the national carrier's huge debts rather than go in for an immediate privatisation.
The ministry has objected to Niti Aayog's proposal to sell off Air India as there will be no takers given the huge debt of Rs 52,000 crore.
All the options to restructure Air India's debt for a turnaround, including the Niti's Aayog's suggestion on privatisation, are expected to be taken up by the cabinet this month.
According to the civil aviation ministry, hiving off some of Air India's subsidiaries such as the engineering and ground handling units could raise cash; this and the restructuring of debt could nurse the airline back to health.
"Trying to sell something which has few takers is bad strategy... and spending money to sell something is even worse," said top civil aviation ministry officials.
At the preliminary inter-ministerial meetings, the ministry has questioned the proposal to write off debts or restructure them just to make the carrier attractive to a private buyer.
If such a step is indeed taken, the government can itself run the airline as Air India has started making profits, instead of bringing in a private party. Air India had made an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in the last fiscal.
"We are saying that if the cost of privatisation is the government having to write off debt, then is it worth it?" officials said.
Till now, the finance ministry has staved off any loan write-off plans, while the lenders are not too keen to restructure without seeing some money on the table.
Officials consequently feel selling off subsidiaries could be a better way to earncash that could be brought to the table while negotiating a debt recast with lenders.
Some of Air India's subsidiaries are ground handling arm Air India Air Transport Services, Hotel Corporation of India (which owns Centaur at Delhi and Lake View in Srinagar), the charter business as well as engineering arm Air India Engineering Services.
Officials feel the sale of the subsidiaries or even the sale of strategic stakes in them could fetch between Rs 20,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore.
Ministry officials point out in the past there had been considerable interest from several quarters, including Singapore and the Gulf, for joint ventures with Air India in both ground handling and engineering.
The subsidiary which does ground handling for several foreign airlines besides Air India and the engineering outfit which also services other airlines' aircraft were hived off into separate but wholly owned companies in 2012 when the cabinet took a decision to inject money into the national carrier over the next eight years.
The finance ministry, which has been pumping small doses of money every year into Air India, is reluctant to spend more. The airline had landed up in this situation because of the loans it had taken to add some 111 aircraft to its ageing and depleted fleet.
At that time, the ministry had encouraged it to order more aircraft than it said it required, arguing traffic will grow at faster rate than the projections.
AI officials say "injection of money in driblets has not helped. In 2012 itself we had sought a one shot help. That never came" .
Most civil aviation experts feel the airline's financial situation has touched a low on account of a botched up merger between a profitable Indian Airlines and a sick international arm - Air India.
They also blame an unexplained policy of shutting down existing profitable routes as well as the award of a large number of bilateral flying rights to the Gulf states, which ensured that Indian travellers on the lucrative European and US routes flew via these regions than take direct flights.

Comment: This white elephant must be dismantled. Who is going to absorb that kind of standing loan.May be future Air India will be a downsized company covering India-US/Europe/Japan/Australia only.Its domestic business should go to IndiGo et al.
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