Formerly known as simply Dum Dum Airport, Kolkata's main airport is now saddled with the long-winded name Kolkata Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (but locals refer to it as just Kolkata Airport).
The airport is located 11 miles (17km) outside of downtown Kolkata, and is a basic facility with only a few shops and restaurants to keep passengers entertained. The real fun at Kolkata Airport is to be had in people-watching, with a diverse mix of eastern and western passengers running about the terminal. Passengers may also stroll around and admire the writings of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, which are inscribed on the walls of the terminal.
Seeing nearly 10 million passengers each year, the airport tends to be a bit crowded, however renovations are underway, along with the addition of a fourth terminal that will hopefully relieve the congestion.
The airport is located 17km (11 miles), or 60 minutes drive, from the city centre
Getting to the city
Train: NSCBI Airport is linked to the Kolkata Suburban Railway system via the junction at nearby Dum Dum, three miles (5km) away. Trains leave for surrounding areas every 10- 15 minutes at peak times and every hour off-peak. There is a station at the airport itself, but as trains run infrequently, it might be quicker and easier to take a taxi to the station at Dum Dum and move on from there. From Dum Dum, you can also catch the underground Kolkata Metro train to surrounding areas.
Taxi: The airport offers a pre-paid car hailing service, whereby metered yellow cabs, Radio cabs, Mega cabs and Kolkata cabs can be availed on your behalf. A trip to the city takes 30- 40 minutes at best and up to two hours in heavy traffic. It'll cost about INR 400 to get into town.
Bus: Air-conditioned Volvo buses travel between the airport and city every 10- 15 minutes from early morning to around 10pm. They also travel to the station at Dum Dum.
Local time is UTC/GMT +5.5 hours
+91 (0)33 2511 9977, +91 (0)33 511 8787
A few car rental companies, including Avis, Europcar, and some local companies, have desks in the international arrivals hall.
Taxis are available at the airport. Taking the metro to the airport requires that you take a taxi to cover the final 3 miles (about 5km).
Transfer between terminals
There are three terminals at NSCBI Airport: a Domestic Terminal, an International Terminal and a Cargo Terminal. The passenger terminals, connected by aero-bridges, are within easy walking distance of one another. A fourth terminal, scheduled to be completed in early 2012, will feature two tiers for departures and arrivals, ensuring international travellers with connecting flights will have an easier time of it.
Money and communications: There are ATMs and currency exchange facilities at the airport.
Luggage: A baggage wrapping service is available in the international departure area, and there are left luggage offices in both the International and Domestic Terminals.
Conference and business: NSCBI Airport has yet to construct business and conference facilities. However, surrounding hotels offer the full gamut of amenities for the corporate traveller.
Other facilities: The terminal at NSCBI Airport features a standard array of facilities, including a VIP lounge, tourist information centre, first aid room, childcare room and post office.
Wifi: wifi is not yet available, but there is an internet café in the International Terminal.
Information: The staff at NSCBI Airport are generally friendly, although English is not widely spoken. Familiarise yourself with Bengali travel jargon and ensure that you are equipped with a dictionary or phrasebook.
Shopping: Besides duty-free shops and a few gift stores, the airport itself does not feature any noteworthy brand outlets for the serious shopper. However, a shopping mall is being built nearby where the Hotel Ashok once stood.
Food and Drink: NSCBI Airport doesn't have a huge selection of dining establishments. Your best bet is the airport's only restaurant, Haldiram Prabhujior. Otherwise a small selection of cafés offer convenience foods, while tea, coffee and soft drink vending machines are situated throughout the terminal building.
There's a 250-bay car park near each terminal, with both short- and long-term parking facilities. The area is currently being expanded to include underground parking.
Rs. 500 (usually included in ticket price)
Flights to Kolkata Airport are available on Air India, AirAsia, China Eastern, Druk Air, Emirates, GoAir, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Silk Air, Singapore Airlines, SpiceJet, Thai Airways, and United Airways.
While there is no wifi at Kolkata Airport, there is an internet café in the International Terminal.
There are no business or conference facilities at Kolkata Airport, however nearby hotels offer a full range of services.
Kolkata Airport Taxis: the taxi fares above are intended as a guideline only.