The first private airport in Durgapur, West Bengal, may be operational by early 2014, as per The Hindu Business Line report. The airport is promoted by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL), a joint venture between Changi Airports International and four Indian companies. The commissioning of the airport has been pushed ahead due to delay in shifting an electricity transmission line passing through the runway. According to a BAPL statement, rest of the construction is near complete.
Though the West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (WBSETCL) allowed BAPL to shift the transmission facility, construction work is inordinately delayed due to local resistance to land acquisition, according to sources. “We estimate that the high-voltage power transmission line will be re-aligned within this calendar year, immediately after which we will initiate the process for final stage DGCA approval,” a BAPL official said. The company had announced to commission the airport by early 2013.
According to Arun Mishra, Director General Civil Aviation, shifting of the high-voltage power transmission line is the primary condition before BAPL. “We have done an inspection at the upcoming Durgapur airport months back. BAPL has to fulfil certain compliances before Directorate General of Civil Aviation issues them a licence,” Mishra said.
Once the transmission line is shifted, other procedures can be completed in a short span of time, he added. Besides, according to Mishra, BAPL has to form a tie-up with Airports Authority of India for air traffic control system.