Saturday, February 4

Airport set for a host of upgrades in new year

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Despite sincere efforts by airport authorities to improve services, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport remains a notch below airports at Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. That could, however, change in 2019 with Airports Authority of India (AAI) lining up several steps to upgrade the infrastructure, beginning with improved signages to introduction of inline baggage X-Ray in the domestic wing and more trolleys. TOI speaks to authorities and passengers to list the upgrades that are in the offing

Inline baggage scanning system

By April next year, passengers flying out of the domestic terminal of the Kolkata airport will no longer have to queue up in front of X-ray baggage scanners and undergo the tedious procedure of scanning their baggage through standalone X-ray machines before hitting the check-in counters as the airport upgrades itself to inline baggage scanning. Already one inline X-ray machine has been installed at check-in portal C of the domestic section. The airport officials are now working on installation of the new CTX (Computer Tomography X-ray) machines at the other portals and is set for completion of the installation work by March 2019.

New signages

Come March 2019 and flyers at the Kolkata airport can expect an easier wayfinding system inside the terminal with scientifically and strategically placed signages inside the terminal to guide a flyer. Tata Elxsi, that has been working on the new signages at the airport are set to create a world class customer centric information and wayfinding system that will cover the entire passenger journey right from parking to boarding the plane, to making the spaces efficient and userfriendly.

More trolleys

The airport is set to receive 2000 more sets of new trolleys in the coming year as part of a 5000 trolley supply deal with Mumbai based organisation – Delite Systems Engineering Pvt Ltd – who has so far delivered 3100 new trolleys. Officials said the consignment will reach the airport in phases.

No more leaking roofs

To prevent rainwater seeping through widening gaps in the roof joints of the Kolkata airport during every monsoon forcing officials to put buckets and baggage tubs on the floors, airport officials will take up a full-fledged repair of the roof that is slated to be completed well before the onset of monsoon. Further, to prevent damage to the repaired surface when cleaners and workers would walk on the roof, the airport authorities have floated a tender proposing to create a network of service walkways along the rim of the roof and across the structure. The walkways will be made of strong iron structures and there will be railings on the side for safety, an airport official said.

Final plan for revamp of old terminal

Cincinnati-based global aviation planning and development firm Landrum & Brown (L&B) is preparing a 20-year master plan to increase the capacity and efficiency of Kolkata airport. The firm which specialises in aviation planning and development, has reviewed the master plan drawn up in 2008-09 for the airport’s expansion and has already surveyed the new and old terminal buildings and is set to furnish their complete set of recommendations by next year.

Focus on secondary runway

For the first time in decades, airport authorities are attempting to enhance the secondary runway capacity at Kolkata airport and the re-carpeting process is already in progress. Secondary runway capacity wasn’t a bother till a couple of years ago. But now, it has become a headache for both — the airport operator and the airlines — as the primary runway is now shut down twice a week for extensive maintenance that the CAT III-B instrument landing system requires.

Source: Times of India

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