The Kolkata airport authorities, who have been unpopular for their poor service and infrastructure, are now feeling uplifted after the airport was recently declared as being in the world’s top 50 with a passenger capacity of less than 25 million a year.
Among the world’s best
Conducted by the Airports Council International (ACI), the 4.42 rating in Airport Service Quality (ASQ) for April-June 2014 has pegged Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBIA) at 40, which is the highest among the airports in the country. The priority right now is to address three areas where the airport has been rated below 4: city-side traffic, taxi service and transport connectivity (3.7), retail facility (3.97) and wi-fi Internet connectivity (3.8).
Inside Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata
According to NSCBIA director BP Sharma, "Results from the ASQ survey have been very encouraging. From a not-so-good 4.1 in 2013 when the new terminal was commissioned and faced teething problems, passengers have rated Kolkata airport 4.42 in the last quarter, which is an all-time high for the facility. All stakeholders at the airport are enthused by the feedback and have pledged to do even better over the next 16 months so that Kolkata airport becomes the most improved airport not only in Asia Pacific but globally.”
ACI is the international organisation of airports, and it rates airports every quarter on a set of 34 parameters. The other Indian airports which ACI rated in the less-than-25-million-passengers-a-year category are Ahmedabad, Calicut, Chennai, Goa, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Srinagar and Trivandrum.
In the previous year, Kolkata Airport had won ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award for being the best improved airport in the Asia-Pacific region. This category includes airports which have experienced the biggest improvement in ASQ rating from the previous year. The ASQ Awards are presented in four categories: best airport by region, best airport by size, best small airport and best improvement. The award was given at the 9th ACI Asia Pacific Regional Assembly meeting in Seoul, South Korea.
Portraying Bengal at the international airport
Another feather in the cap
Another recent feather in the cap for Kolkata Airport has been an award at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2014. The prestigious awards are given by the air transport industry research specialist, Skytrax annually in 64 categories. Kolkata Airport was placed at number nine in the ‘Best Airports in India and Central Asia’ category.
Departure area of Kolkata International Airport
The newly constructed Kolkata International Airport has received several other accolades too. Among them is the Excellence in Built Environment 2013 award given by Indian Building Congress. The award recognises the drive, imagination and creative thinking of individuals, groups and organisations with particular emphasis on creative designs for buildings all over the country.
A bright future
The ASQ rating of 4.42 has spurred the airport to kick off the ‘Agenda 2015’ project. The aim of this project is to improve the rating to 4.5 by December 2014 and finally to 4.7 (out of 5) by December 2015 to place Kolkata International Airport among the top 10 in the world. While striving for 4.5 will take some effort, the quest for 4.7 will have to involve complete harmony between all stakeholders to provide passengers a seamless, hassle-free and joyous experience.
Written by Team M3.tv