West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced commercial operation of the country's first private Greenfield airport at Andal in Burdwan district from May 18 with a six-day-a-week flight service between Durgapur and Kolkata.
"Commercial operation at the Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport will begin initially with domestic air service from May 18 followed by international operations in later stage," Banerjee said at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' after announcing the long-awaited project.
It was in last month the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulatory body, awarded Aerodrome License to this Rs 750 crore Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport at Andal, which would be operational under India's Greenfield Airport Policy.
Stating that the entire region would be immensely benefitted from this service, Banerjee announced 25 per cent concession in this air service for students, land-losers and government officials from the area of Durgapur, Asansol, Raniganj, Bolpur, Santiniketan and Jangalmahal for a year.
Besides, ailing residents of Jangalmahal area could also travel with 25 per cent concession for their treatment, she said.
Banerjee also announced sales tax exemption to the carrier on ATF required for air operation at Andal for a period of five years.
Transport Department Principal Secretary Alapan Banerjee said that the Durgapur-Kolkata air service would begin with a 13-seater aircraft by Air India on May 18 and will operate on all days except Friday. Later it would be upgraded to a 17-seater plane. Fare of Rs 2,500 would be charged by Air India on this sector.
The secretary said that an agreement would be signed between the operator, Air India, and BAPL on May 11 in Delhi.