Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL), the company building an airport city near Andal in Burdwan, is confident of commencing operations by July 2012, despite disquiet over land compensation and the squabble between two Indian promoters.
Subrata Paul, CEO of BAPL, said construction work at the site spanning more than 1,820 acres along National Highway 2 was at full swing. Work on the runway has started. BAPL plans to complete this by December. Construction of the passenger terminal and air traffic control will also start after June, he said.
BAPL, where Singapore's Changi Airport Authority has a 26 per cent stake, has awarded the EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) contract to Calcutta-based Simplex Infrastructure, which is working according to a design approved by Changi.
The company expected to complete the first phase of the project by February 2012. BAPL will then have four months to operationalise the airport, involving final go-ahead from the civil aviation ministry, Paul said. The project includes airport, housing, light industrial complex and retail over 3,150 acres. The first phase will cover around 2,100 acres. The company is expecting 300 acres from the government in the next few months.
The airport, classified under the 4C category like the Patna, Ranchi and Raipur airports, can handle the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 aircraft. The runway can be extended in the future to handle Dreamliner (A380), the largest passenger aircraft flying internationally at present.
BAPL is in talks with domestic airliner SpiceJet and IndiGo to include Andal in their route expansion plan for next year. Paul said he received encouraging response from them.