Bagdogra, 2 July
A day after the Indian Air Force( IAF) gave its nod to open the Bagdogra airport runway till 10 p.m., the state transport department principal secretary Mr Alapan Bandopadhyay held a meeting with the airlines operators, the airport director Mr K K Bhowmik, the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at Bagdogra airport over the development today. The Darjeeling district magistrate Mr Saumitra Mohan, the Siliguri Metropolitan Police commissioner Mr K Jayaraman, the Siliguri sub-divisional officer (SDO) Ms Rachna Bhagat, were present in the meeting.
“We had a detailed discussion over the development. Mr Bhowmik received a communication from the IAF last evening confirming that the watch hour at the airport has been increased up to 10 p.m,” Mr Bandopadhyay said after the meeting. “Hence, the flight service will be operational till 10 p.m. Following the directive there would be hardly any possibility to cancel the flights. The flights operators become worried over the situation since after the sun set there was no possibility of running the flights. The tourists used to face problems because of this,” he added.
He said he discussed with the airlines of when they would be able to start flight services in the nights.
“The representatives said the highest levels of the airlines companies operating here would take the corporate decision decision. Among those airlines present, the Druk Air had proposed that they wanted to run the flight service on the Kathmandu-Bagdogra-Paro route. Since it is a matter of two countries so the decision will be taken at the highest level,” he added.
When asked whether the security at the airport will be intensified, Mr Bandopadhyay said the CISF officials told following the development that the force needed more manpower. The state government and the airport authority would take necessary steps in this regard.
The representatives of Go Air, Spice Jet, Druk Air, Air India and Jet Airways were present in the meeting.
Mr Bhowmik said the airfield was ready for the operation.