Flight operation in Bengal’s second airport -Bagdogra- suspends for two weeks

Siliguri, April 11 : Flight operation in West Bengal’s second airport – Bagdogra – the gateway of North Bengal and Sikkim state, has been suspended for two weeks with effect from Monday, an official source said. ” West Bengal’s Bagdogra Airport will be closed for operations from April 11 to April 25 due to resurfacing works on the sole runway,” a Twitter post of Bagdogra airport announced. The Bagdogra International airport, about 12 southwest of this commercial town, is the gateway of North Bengal and Sikkim, also serving travellers from Bhutan and Nepal. The suspension of operation meant a huge loss for tourism in Darjeeling, Sikkim and entire forested north Bengal said a travel operator. Before closing the operation for the next two weeks, the Airport on Sunday reported altogether 56 domestic flights operated and carried nearly 9000 passengers. The suspension of flight operation was necessitated after cracks appeared on the surface and disrupted the traffic in recent weeks. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has been entrusted to repair the tarmac. Meanwhile, the civil aviation ministry, the government of India, has invited bids for preparing a master plan for the Bagdogra airport expansion in two phases and executing the first one and set aside Rs 1,300 crore for the project. A new terminal and several other facilities are planned at the airport. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) invited bids on April 4 seeking architectural and engineering consultancy for preparing a master plan keeping in mind the requirement at Bagdogra in the next 30 years and executing the first phase. PC SJC ARN

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