Somewhere in Bengal....

The greenfield private airport at Andal is planning to operate the first test flight with a fixed-wing aircraft on January 7. Though the airport is unlikely to get an operators' license till next March, the test flight with a 20-seater plane will serve as a symbolic takeoff that Mamata Banerjee is keen to showcase at Biswa Bangla, the investor meet scheduled in Kolkata around that time.
“We have applied for license to operate Airbus A320 or Boeing B737-800 (category 4C aircraft). The formalities may take a few months though the airport will be completely ready for operation by December. We are therefore looking at the possibility of operating a non scheduled test flight with 18-20 seat aircraft (category 2C) subject to approval from the directorate general of civil aviation,“ said Partha Ghosh, managing director of Bengal Aerotropolis Pvt Ltd (BAPL), which is developing the Andal airport. With Singapore's Changi Airports International Pvt Ltd a significant partner in the airport project, Mamata is keen that a flight lands and takes off at Andal to send the right signal to the delegates.
We want the airport to begin operations in the first week of January and held a review meeting with stakeholders to assess the preparedness on Wednesday ,“ said transport principal secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay . The work left includes shifting of a high-tension electricity line across the runway and a sixlane road to connect the airport to national highway-2.While the terminal building and ATC-cum-service cluster block are ready , runway lights are being installed in the final phase. On Wednesday , nonscheduled operator Pinnacle Air expressed interest in adding Andal as a stop to the current Kolkata-Jamshedpur-Ranchi flight while Spirit Air, Par Air and Costa Air are considering flights on the Kolkata-Andal-Bagdogra-Cooch Behar sector.

No comments: