After 15 days, Bagdogra Airport to reopen today
darjeeling: Bagdogra Airport is all set to become operational from Tuesday, after a long gap of 15 days. The second busiest airport of West Bengal had been shut down for repairs from April 11 to April 25.
"The Airport was shut from April 11 to 25th for runway resurfacing work. The work has been carried out by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and has been closely monitored by Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhury, Director General Border Roads. The work has been executed by Swastik of the BRO," stated Subramanium P, Airport Director.
The Bagdogra Airport is a Joint User Airfield. The airport is operational as a civil enclave at the Air Force Station Bagdogra of the Indian Air Force. The 2750 m long runway used by the civil enclave has been resurfaced. "We will be operational from 8am to 5pm from Tuesday.
The 28 stipulated flights will land and also take off as it used to before shutting down. Bagdogra is connected with all major cities including Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Guwahati" added the Airport Director.
Along with the resurfacing work of the runaway, the airport has got a facelift also. "The flooring tiles and glazing have been changed. A false ceiling has been added. All facilities will be available to passengers from Tuesday" stated Subramanium.
Incidentally the runaway of the Airport was badly damaged with cracks having developed. Operations had come to a halt on March 15, March 22 and April 7 owing to cracks on the runaway.
Finally the authorities had decided to shut down the airport for 15 days for thorough repairs.
With news of the Airport reopening from Tuesday, the tourism industry breathed a sigh of relief. The closure had caused a dent for the travel trade, that is slowly picking up after two years long slump owing to the Pandemic.
With the mercury steadily on the rise in the Plains, there is a rush of tourists to the Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim.
With the closure of the Airport, trains witnessed heavy rush. Even the bus fares from Kolkata had soared phenomenally with some private buses charging Rs. 2800 also. "It a welcome respite that the Airport is reopening. We expect things to normalize and pick up in a week's time" stated Samrat Sanyal of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network. Every year around 8 lakh domestic and 40,000 foreign tourists visit the region.