Construction of Kolkata’s new international airport (CCU) continues at a rapid pace toward an October or November 2012 inauguration at which time operations will shift from the current international and domestic terminals. Once complete, the new terminal at Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport will boast capacity for up to 20 million annual passengers, about twice the current annual traffic of 8.7 million domestic and 1.6 million international passengers during 2011-2012.
“Carriers have already begun setting up their offices in the basement. Airline lounges on the level above departure will happen during the transition phase. For each airline, all operations have to be shifted from the existing terminal to the new one overnight. They will get four to five hours when there are no passenger movements to complete the migration,” an airline official said.
Both of the existing terminals will be shut after the transition has been made to the new state of the art facility. Earlier plans to keep the domestic terminal open for low cost airlines has been scrapped given the expansive capacity of the new terminal.
Of course all this comes at a cost. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed two new fee hikes aimed at increasing airport revenue to cover the new terminal’s massive cost. International airlines will be assessed a landing fee increase of 118 per cent. Domestic airlines will be charged a proposed 48 per cent increase in landing charges. Those fees are scheduled to start from 1 November, 2012.
AAI will also implement a new User Development Fee (UDF) beginning January 1, 2013 for flying passengers. Under the new fee every flying domestic passenger will be assessed an additional Rs 400 and Rs 1,000 on every flying international passenger. The increased cost most likely will be passed along from the airlines in the form of higher passenger airfares and collected at the time of ticket purchase.
Similar fees have been levied at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), Mumbai’s Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM), and Bengaluru Internation Airport (BLR) after their respective airports remodeled or built completely new facilities.
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