(Last Updated on : 03/04/2009)
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is situated in Dum Dum, West Bengal, near Kolkata (Calcutta). The airport was initially named Dum Dum Airport. Afterwards, it was renamed in the honour of the illustrious Bengali patriot Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The airport is situated at a distance of 17 km from the city centre. The airport has two parallel runways 1-19 L/R, of which the longer one- 1R/19L is used for takeoffs and landings. The other one is used mostly for the purpose of a taxiway. The airport has three terminals- a domestic terminal (opened in the early 1990s), an international terminal (the oldest terminal) and a cargo terminal.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport has earned a distinguished place in the history of world aviation. In 1924 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines commenced scheduled stops at Calcutta (now Kolkata), as part of their Amsterdam to Batavia (now Jakarta) flight. Five US Air Force planes had landed in Calcutta (Kolkata) as part of the first round-the-world flight expedition in 1924. The feat was experimented for the first time by any air force in the world. In 1929, Bengal Air Transport Company Limited started the Calcutta to Siliguri flights for the very first time. This took place much before the more widely known "first Indian flight" by Tata Air Lines on the Karachi - Ahmedabad - Bombay (now Mumbai) flight by two years. In 1930, Air Orient commenced scheduled stops at Calcutta (now Kolkata), as part of their Paris to Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) flight. Imperial Airways' experimental flight in 1931 landed in Calcutta (now Kolkata) from London to Australia. In 1933, Imperial Airways introduced regular London - Calcutta service (extended progressively to Rangoon and Singapore).
In 1934, the China National Aviation Company (CNAC), a subsidiary of Pan-American World Airways, started flights on the Shanghai-Hong Kong-Chungking (now Chongqing)-Calcutta (now Kolkata) route, as a link to the San Francisco-Shanghai Clipper route. Amelia Earhart arrived in Calcutta (now Kolkata) on June 17, 1937, as part of her 'round the world' flight. As the part of their Berlin to Bangkok service Deutsche Lufthansa began scheduled stops at Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1939. The China National Aviation Company (CNAC) moved their headquarters to Calcutta in 1942. Calcutta remained operational hub of the airline until the end of the Second World War. In 1947 Pan-American World Airways launched round-the-world service with the slogan "New York to San Francisco via Calcutta". In 1952 British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) introduced the first jet service to India that connected London and Calcutta, using the de Havilland Comet.
In 1963, Japan Air Lines (JAL) connected India with Japan as part of the Silk Route service-Calcutta became its sole Indian destination. In 1964 Indian Airlines introduced the first domestic jet service in India on the Calcutta - Delhi route using the Caravelle jets. India's first dedicated cargo terminal was opened in 1975 at Dum Dum airport. Druk Air, Bhutan's national airline was founded with operations/maintenance headquarters in Calcutta airport in 1981. In 2006 Netaji Subhas International Airport was connected to the suburban railway system. Thus it became the first airport in India to be accessible by a mass rapid transport system.
Airlines that have been operating domestically from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport are-- Simplify Deccan (Agartala, Aizwal, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Guwahati, Vizag, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jamshedpur, Jaipur, Lilabari, Mumbai, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Ranchi, Silchar); Air India (Mumbai); Air India Express (Mumbai); Jet Lite (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Port Blair); Indian Airlines (Agartala, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Gaya, Guwahati, Mumbai, Port Blair); IndiGo Airlines (Agartala, Ahemdabad, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Jaipur, Mumbai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Goa); Jet Airways (Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jorhat, Mumbai, Pune, Port Blair); Kingfisher Airlines (Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bagdogra, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Udaipur, Varanasi); Spice Jet (Bagdogra, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Port Blair) and MDLR Airlines (Chandigarh, Delhi, Ranchi).
Air China (Beijing); Air France (Paris); Air India (Dhaka, London-Heathrow); Air India Express (Singapore, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi); Biman Bangladesh Airlines (Chittagong, Dhaka); Best Air (Dhaka); British Airways (London-Heathrow); China Eastern Airlines (Kunming); Cosmic Air (Kathmandu); Druk Air (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Paro); Emirates (Dubai); Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa); Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi); GMG Airlines (Chittagong, Dhaka); Gulf Air (Bahrain, Muscat); Indian Airlines ( Kathmandu, Yangon, Dhaka); Jet Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dhaka, Singapore; Lufthansa (Frankfurt); Royal Bengal Airlines (Dhaka); Singapore Airlines (Singapore) and Thai Airways International (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi) are the international airlines operating from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. Blue Dart Aviation; Lufthansa Cargo; Etihad Crystal Cargo and Singapore Airlines Cargo are the cargo airlines serving the airport.
Aeroflot; Tridib C; Air France; Balkan Bulgarian Airlines (inoperative airline); Cathay Pacific; JAL; JAT Airways; Jetstar Asia; KLM; Malaysian Airlines; Philippine Airlines; Qantas; Qatar Airways; Royal Brunei Airlines; Royal Jordanian Airlines; Royal Nepal Airlines; Scandinavian Airlines and Tarom were previously operating to and from the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. Many of them have also planned to resume their service in the near future. Like other international airports, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is also undergoing extention works, like building a fourth terminal. Extention is immediately necessary due to massive increase in passenger volume during the past three to four years. The airport authority has also planned to increase the runways. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is considered one of the top four airports in the country. It has also bagged the honour of handling roughly 250 flights a day.