Kolkata airport capacity to rise to 45 flights per hour with infra upgrade

Work on two major infrastructure development projects to boost the runway handling capacity at Kolkata airport from 35 to 45 flights per hour is nearing completion. The two projects are three Rapid Exit Taxiways (RETs) to facilitate arriving flights to leave the runway faster and taxi track expansion to allow departing flights to quickly reach the runway at the end to make the run for take off. Both projects are expected to be fully operational within three months. With these, Kolkata airport can handle up to 1,080 movements a day from 840, or 540 flights per day compared to earlier 420.

The government strives to increase the existing capacity by reducing the distance between two incoming flights. These two projects are expected to complement the move. The civil work on the RETs and rapid exit taxiways has been completed, and the engineering work is in the last stage. Besides, eight more parking bays are scheduled to be completed this month. The airport authority plans to send the related documents for approval to DGCA by April-end or early May. Once DGCA gives the nod, the authority will announce the changes via All India Publication (AIP) to notify all parties involved. The DGCA approval could take around a month or two, and AIP will take up to 45 days. So the two projects will be ready for operations by July or August.

The newly connected taxi track F and the northern end of the secondary runway will allow planes to enter and launch the take-off run directly without backtracking. Moreover, planes can leave Taxiway A faster, thus boosting the operational time of the secondary runway and increasing its efficiency to up to 20 flights an hour. This will curb delays and interruptions in aircraft movement. This will allow the airport to offer up to 30 more slots to airlines during the morning rush hour between 8 and 11 am. It will help the transit passengers from the Northeast and reduce layover time at the airport.

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