Kolkata Airport Information Guide

What You Need to Know About Kolkata Airport

Passengers at Kolkata airport, India
••• Passengers at Kolkata airport, India. VasukiRao/Getty Images

Kolkata airport is an international airport but over 80% of its passengers are domestic travelers. It's India's fifth busiest airport and handles nearly 16 million passengers per year. The airport is operated by the Indian government's Airports Authority of India. A much needed, new and modern terminal (known as Terminal 2) was constructed and opened in January 2013. The airport's makeover resulted in it being awarded Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific Region in 2014 and 2015 by the Airport Council International.

While Kolkata airport is already a major center for flights to Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Southeast Asia, it's hoped that the new terminal will attract more international airlines to service the city.

Airport Name and Code

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (CCU). It was named after a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement.

Airport Contact Information

Location

Dum Dum, 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of the city.

Travel Time to City Center

45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Airport Terminals

The new five-level, L-shaped Terminal 2 replaces the old domestic and international terminals. It integrates both international and domestic flights. Passengers can disembark from any point and proceed to either the international or domestic sections of the terminal as necessary.

Terminal 2 has the capacity to handle 20 million passengers a year.

Its design is minimalist, with stark steel and glass. The ceiling is interesting though. It's adorned with the writings of famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. While the new terminal is spacious, it's not very engaging and still lacks things to do. However, a number of retail stores are expected to open in 2017, in both the domestic and international sections.

The stores will feature well known brands of apparel, leather goods, shoes, luggage, and cosmetics. The airport's duty free section is also being enhanced.

Airport Facilities and Lounges

  • Terminal 2 has 128 check-in counters, 78 immigration counters, 12 customs counters, and 18 aerobridges.
  • Wireless Internet is available at the airport for a nominal charge.
  • There's a range of restaurants, including a food court in the domestic departures section.
  • Air India and Jet Airways provide passenger lounges.
  • Travel Food Services operates a Travel Club lounge in both the domestic and international departures areas of Terminal 2. The international lounge is open 24 hours a day, while the domestic lounge is open from 4.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m. Alcohol is not available in the domestic lounge. These lounges can be accessed by selected airline passengers, Priority Pass holders, holders of certain credit cards, and passengers who pay to enter. The cost is 1,500 rupees plus tax for the international lounge (3 hours usage) and 700 rupees plus tax for the domestic lounge (2 hours usage).  
  • 12 new retiring rooms opened on the mezzanine floor of the airport terminal, accessible through the arrivals area, in early 2016. Passengers must make bookings in person at the Airport Manager's office on the departures level, accessible through Gate 3C, or by sending a fax to +91 (033) 25118877. Expect to pay 1,000 rupees for a bed (twin sharing) in a double room or 700 rupees in a dorm room. 

    Airport Transport

    The most convenient way to get to the city center is to take a prepaid taxi from the Bengal Taxi Association counter. It operates 24 hours and is located at the exit of the arrivals area. A fare to Sudder Street is about 350 rupees.

    Alternatively, Viator offers private airport transfers. They can be easily booked online.

    Travel Tips

    Dense fog hangs over Kolkata airport from late December to early January, between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. This causes regular flight delays during these times. Travelers should take this into consideration when making plans.

    Where to Stay Near the Airport

    Unfortunately, the new Terminal 2 doesn't have a transit hotel (yet). The old Ashok airport hotel has been demolished, and two new luxury hotels and a shopping mall are to be constructed in its place.

    If you need to stay near the airport, there are a few decent enough options (and plenty of awful seedy ones!) to suit all budgets. This Guide to Kolkata Airport Hotels will help point you in the right direction.