Team TMC meets Jyotiraditya Scindia, demands direct Kolkata-London flight
The delegation comprised MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Derek O' Brien, Saugata Roy and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, and discussions were held on better air connectivity to West Bengal
New Delhi: A TMC parliamentary delegation on Tuesday met with Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia with demands for a direct Kolkata-London flight and an additional airport in Purulia’s Chharra.
The delegation comprised MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Derek O’ Brien, Saugata Roy and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, and discussions were held on better air connectivity to West Bengal.
Senior leader Saugata Roy said they spoke to the minister on the development of airports in the state in Malda, Balurghat, Coochbehar, Andal and a proposed one in Chharra in Purulia district. The delegation also demanded that the Bagdogra Airport be given the status of an international airport.
He said the minister assured the delegation that a Kolkata-Coochbehar flight would be introduced this winter. It will be a 19-seater aircraft under the Udaan scheme for regional connectivity.
Raising the issue of the Andal airport in the state, Roy said the minister pointed out that since the land did not belong to the government, no central funds can be allotted to it.
About 26 per cent of the Andal airport land is owned by the state of West Bengal while the rest is with private parties.
“The minister was fair in his responses to our demands. He said that the Centre can help with any clearances that the state government needs for the Andal airport but funds cannot be allotted since its a private airport,” Roy said.
He added that the delegation also demanded a direct flight from Kolkata to London. The minister gave a positive response to the request, he said.
Andal is the first privately operated greenfield airport in the country and is of 4C category, and has night landing facilities.
Banerjee had asked for Rs 375 crore from the Centre to develop the airport but the request was denied.
On the proposal to add Chanda Charra in Purulia as the latest airport, Scindia assured the delegation that the Airports Authority of India would examine the proposal once its sent, Roy said.
He also said once the expansion of the Kolkata airport was complete, its capacity would increase from 26 million passengers annually to 37.5 million.
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