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Essay About Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport

Indian nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose died from third-degree burns on 18 August 1945 after his overloaded Japanese plane crashed in Japanese-occupied Formosa (now Taiwan).[a][2][b] However, many among his supporters, especially in Bengal, refused at the time, and have refused since, to believe either the fact or the circumstances of his death.[c][d][e] Conspiracy theories appeared within hours of his death and have thereafter had a long shelf life,[f] keeping alive various martial myths about Bose.[g]


Last months with the Indian National Army[edit]

During the last week of April 1945, Subhas Chandra Bose along with his senior Indian National Army (INA) officers, several hundred enlisted INA men, and nearly hundred women from the INA's Rani of Jhansi Regiment left Rangoon by road for Moulmein in Burma. Accompanied by Lieutenant General Saburo Isoda, the head of the Japanese-INA liaison organization Hikari Kikan, their Japanese military convoy was able to reach the right bank of the Sittang river, albeit slowly. (See map 1.) However, very few vehicles were able to cross the river because of American strafing runs. Bose and his party walked the remaining 80 miles (130 km) to Moulmein over the next week. Moulmein then was the terminus of the Death Railway, constructed earlier by British, Australian, and Dutch prisoners of war, linking Burma to Siam (now Thailand). At Moulmein, Bose's group was also joined by 500 men from the X-regiment, INA's first guerrilla regiment, who arrived from a different location in Lower Burma.

A year and a half earlier, 16,000 INA men and 100 women had entered Burma from Malaya. Now, less than one tenth that number left the country, arriving in Bangkok during the first week of May. The remaining nine tenths were either killed in action, died from malnutrition or injuries after the battles of Imphal and Kohima. Others were captured by the British, turned themselves in, or simply disappeared. Bose stayed in Bangkok for a month, where soon after his arrival he heard the news of Germany's surrender on May 8. Bose spent the next two months between June and July 1945 in Singapore, and in both places attempted to raise funds for billeting his soldiers or rehabilitating them if they chose to return to civilian life, which most of the women did. In his nightly radio broadcasts, Bose spoke with increasing virulence against Gandhi, who had been released from jail in 1944, and was engaged in talks with British administrators, envoys and Muslim League leaders. Some senior INA officers began to feel frustrated or disillusioned with Bose and to prepare quietly for the arrival of the British and its consequences.

During the first two weeks of August 1945, events began to unfold rapidly. With the British threatening to invade Malaya and with daily American aerial bombings, Bose's presence in Singapore became riskier by the day. His chief of staff J. R. Bhonsle suggested that he prepare to leave Singapore. On 3 August 1945, Bose received a cable from General Isoda advising him to urgently evacuate to Saigon in Japanese-controlled French Indochina (now Vietnam). On 10 August, Bose learnt that the Soviet Union had entered the war and invaded Manchuria. At the same time he heard about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Finally, on 16 August, after being informed of the unconditional surrender of Japan, Bose decided to leave for Saigon along with a handful of his aides.

Last days and journeys[edit]

Reliable strands of historical narrative about Bose's last days are united up to this point. However, they separate briefly for the period between 16 August, when Bose received news of Japan's surrender in Singapore, and shortly after noon on 17 August, when Bose and his party arrived at Saigon airport from Saigon city to board a plane. (See map 2.)

In one version, Bose flew out from Singapore to Saigon, stopping briefly in Bangkok, on the 16th. Soon after arriving in Saigon, he visited Field Marshal Hisaichi Terauchi, head of the Japanese forces in Southeast Asia, and requested him to arrange a flight to Soviet Russia. Although until the day before, Russia had been a belligerent of Japan, it was also seen, at least by Bose, as increasingly anti-British, and, consequently, a possible base of his future operations against the British Raj. Terauchi, in turn, cabled Japan's Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ) in Tokyo for permission, which was quickly denied. In the words of historian Joyce Chapman Lebra, the IGHQ felt that it "would be unfair of Bose to write off Japan and go over to Russia after receiving so much help from Japan. Terauchi added in talking with Bose that it would be unreasonable for him to take a step which was opposed by the Japanese." Privately, however, Terauchi still felt sympathy for Bose—one that had been formed during their two-year-long association. He somehow managed to arrange room for Bose on a flight leaving Saigon on the morning of 17 August 1945 bound for Tokyo, but stopping en route in Dairen, Manchuria—which was still Japanese-occupied, but toward which the Soviet army was fast approaching—where Bose was to have disembarked and to have awaited his fate at the hand of the Russians.

In another version, Bose left Singapore with his party on the 16th and stopped en route in Bangkok, surprising INA officer in-charge there, J. R. Bhonsle, who quickly made arrangements for Bose's overnight stay. Word of Bose's arrival, however, got out, and soon local members of the Indian Independence League (IIL), the INA, and the Thai Indian business community turned up at the hotel. According to historian Peter Ward Fay, Bose "sat up half the night holding court—and in the morning flew on to Saigon, this time accompanied by General Isoda ..." Arriving in Saigon, late in the morning, there was little time to visit Field Marshal Terauchi, who was in Dalat in the Central Highlands of French Indo-China, an hour away by plane. Consequently, Isoda himself, without consulting with higher ups, arranged room for Bose on a flight leaving around noon.

In the third sketchier version, Bose left Singapore on the 17th. According to historian Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper, "On 17 August he issued a final order of the day, dissolving the INA with the words, 'The roads to Delhi are many and Delhi still remains our goal.' He then flew out to China via French Indo-China. If all else failed he wanted to become a prisoner of the Soviets: 'They are the only ones who will resist the British. My fate is with them'."

Around noon on 17 August, the strands again reunite. At Saigon airport, a Mitsubishi Ki-21 heavy bomber, of the type code namedSally by the Allies, was waiting for Bose and his party. In addition to Bose, the INA group comprised Colonel Habibur Rahman, his secretary; S. A. Ayer, a member of his cabinet; Major Abid Hasan, his old associate who had made the hazardous submarine journey from Germany to Sumatra in 1943; and three others. To their dismay, they learned upon arrival that there was room for only one INA passenger. Bose complained, and the beleaguered General Isoda gave in and hurriedly arranged for a second seat. Bose chose Habibur Rahman to accompany him. It was understood that the others in the INA party would follow him on later flights. There was further delay at Saigon airport. According to historian Joyce Chapman Lebra, "a gift of treasure contributed by local Indians was presented to Bose as he was about to board the plane. The two heavy strong-boxes added overweight to the plane's full load." Sometime between noon and 2 PM, the twin-engine plane took off with 12 or 13 people aboard: a crew of three or four, a group of Japanese army and air force officers, including Lieutenant-General Tsunamasa Shidei, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Japanese Kwantung Army, which although fast retreating in Manchuria still held the Manchurian peninsula, and Bose and Rahman. Bose was sitting a little to the rear of the portside wing; the bomber, under normal circumstances, carried a crew of five.

That these flights were possible a few days after Japan's surrender was the result of a lack of clarity about what had occurred. Although Japan had unconditionally surrendered, when Emperor Hirohito had made his announcement over the radio, he had used formal Japanese, not entirely intelligible to ordinary people and, instead of using the word "surrender" (in Japanese), had mentioned only "abiding by the terms of the Potsdam Declaration." Consequently, many people, especially in Japanese-occupied territories, were unsure if anything had significantly changed, allowing a window of a few days for the Japanese air force to continue flying. Although the Japanese and Bose were tight lipped about the destination of the bomber, it was widely assumed by Bose's staff left behind on the tarmac in Saigon that the plane was bound for Dairen on the Manchurian peninsula, which, as stated above, was still under Japanese control. Bose had been talking for over a year about the importance of making contact with the communists, both Russian and Chinese. In 1944, he had asked a minister in his cabinet, Anand Mohan Sahay to travel to Tokyo for the purposes of making contact with the Soviet ambassador, Jacob Malik. However, after consulting the Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, Sahay decided against it. In May 1945, Sahay had again written to Shigemitsu requesting him to contact Soviet authorities on behalf of Bose; again the reply had been in the negative. Bose had been continually querying General Isoda for over a year about the Japanese army's readiness in Manchuria. After the war, the Japanese confirmed to the British investigators and later Indian commissions of inquiry, that plane was indeed bound for Dairen, and that fellow passenger General Shidea of the Kwantung Army, was to have disembarked with Bose in Dairen and to have served as the main liaison and negotiator for Bose's transfer into Soviet controlled territory in Manchuria.

The plane had flown north. By the time it was near the northern coast of French Indo-China, darkness had begun to close in, and the pilot decided to make an unscheduled stop in Tourane (now Da Nang, Vietnam). The passengers stayed overnight at a hotel, and the crew, worried that the plane was overloaded, shed some 500 pounds of equipment and luggage, and also refueled the plane. Before dawn the next morning, the group flew out again, this time east to Taihoku, Formosa (now Taipei, Taiwan), which was a scheduled stop, arriving there around noon on 18 August 1945. During the two-hour stop in Taihoku, the plane was again refueled, while the passengers ate lunch. The chief pilot and the ground engineer, and Major Kono, seemed concerned about the portside engine, and, once all the passengers were on board, the engine was tested by repeatedly throttling up and down. The concerns allayed, the plane finally took off, in different accounts, as early as 2 PM, and as late as 2:30 PM, watched by ground engineers.

Death in plane crash[edit]

Just as the bomber was leaving the standard path taken by aircraft during take-off, the passengers inside heard a loud sound, similar to an engine backfiring. The mechanics on the tarmac saw something fall out of the plane. It was the portside engine, or a part of it, and the propeller. The plane swung wildly to the right and plummeted, crashing, breaking into two, and exploding into flames. Inside, the chief pilot, copilot and General Shidea were instantly killed. Rahman was stunned, passing out briefly, and Bose, although conscious and not fatally hurt, was soaked in gasoline. When Rahman came to, he and Bose attempted to leave by the rear door but found it blocked by the luggage. They then decided to run through the flames and exit from the front. The ground staff, now approaching the plane, saw two people staggering towards them, one of whom had become a human torch. The human torch turned out to be Bose, whose gasoline-soaked clothes had instantly ignited. Rahman and a few others managed to smother the flames, but also noticed that Bose's face and head appeared badly burned. According to Joyce Chapman Lebra, "A truck which served as ambulance rushed Bose and the other passengers to the Nanmon Military Hospital south of Taihoku." The airport personnel called Dr. Taneyoshi Yoshimi, the surgeon-in-charge at the hospital at around 3 PM. Bose was conscious and mostly coherent when they reached the hospital, and for some time thereafter. Bose was naked, except for a blanket wrapped around him, and Dr. Yoshimi immediately saw evidence of third-degree burns on many parts of the body, especially on his chest, doubting very much that he would live. Dr. Yoshimi promptly began to treat Bose and was assisted by Dr. Tsuruta. According to historian Leonard A. Gordon, who interviewed all the hospital personnel later,:

"A disinfectant, Rivamol, was put over most of his body and then a white ointment was applied and he was bandaged over most of his body. Dr. Yoshimi gave Bose four injections of Vita Camphor and two of Digitamine for his weakened heart. These were given about every 30 minutes. Since his body had lost fluids quickly upon being burnt, he was given Ringer solution intravenously. A third doctor, Dr. Ishii gave him a blood transfusion. An orderly, Kazuo Mitsui, an army private, was in the room and several nurses were assisting. Bose still had a clear head which Dr. Yoshimi found remarkable for someone with such severe injuries.

Soon, in spite of the treatment, Bose went into a coma. He died a few hours later, between 9 and 10 PM.

Bose's body was cremated in the main Taihoku crematorium two days later, 20 August 1945. On 23 August 1945, the Japanese news agency Domei announced the death of Bose and Shidea. On 7 September a Japanese officer, Lieutenant Tatsuo Hayashida, carried Bose's ashes to Tokyo, and the following morning they were handed to the president of the Tokyo Indian Independence League, Rama Murti. On 14 September a memorial service was held for Bose in Tokyo and a few days later the ashes were turned over to the priest of the Renkōji Temple of Nichiren Buddhism in Tokyo. There they have remained ever since.

Among the INA personnel, there was widespread disbelief, shock, and trauma. Most affected were the young Tamil Indians from Malaya and Singapore, men and women, who comprised the bulk of the civilians who had enlisted in the INA. The professional soldiers in the INA, most of whom were Punjabis, faced an uncertain future, with many fatalistically expecting reprisals from the British. In India the Indian National Congress's official line was succinctly expressed in a letter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wrote to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. Said Gandhi, "Subhas Bose has died well. He was undoubtedly a patriot, though misguided." Many congressmen had not forgiven Bose for quarreling with Gandhi and for collaborating with what they considered was Japanesefascism. The Indian soldiers in the British Indian army, some two and a half million of whom had fought during the Second World War, were conflicted about the INA. Some saw the INA as traitors and wanted them punished; others felt more sympathetic. The British Raj, though never seriously threatened by the INA, was to try 300 INA officers for treason in the INA trials, but was to eventually backtrack in the face of its own end.

Legends of Bose's survival[edit]

Immediate post-war legends[edit]

Subhas Chandra Bose's exploits had become legendary long before his physical death in August 1945.[h] From the time he had escaped house arrest in Calcutta in 1940, rumours had been rife in India about whether or not he was alive, and if the latter, where he was and what he was doing. His appearance in faraway Germany in 1941 created a sense of mystery about his activities. With Congress leaders in jail in the wake of the Quit India Resolution in August 1942 and the Indian public starved for political news, Bose's radio broadcasts from Berlin charting radical plans for India's liberation during a time when the star of Germany was still rising and that of Britain was at its lowest, made him an object of adulation among many in India and southeast Asia. During his two years in Germany, according to historian Romain Hayes, "If Bose gradually obtained respect in Berlin, in Tokyo he earned fervent admiration and was seen very much as an 'Indian samurai'." Thus it was that when Bose appeared in Southeast Asia in July 1943, brought mysteriously on German and Japanese submarines, he was already a figure of mythical size and reach.

After Bose's death, Bose's other lieutenants, who were to have accompanied him to Manchuria, but were left behind on the tarmac in Saigon, never saw a body. There were no photographs taken of the injured or deceased Bose, neither was a death certificate issued. According to historian Leonard A. Gordon,

The war was ending; all was chaotic in East Asia, and there were no official reports released by the Governments of India or Britain. These governments did nothing to prevent the confusion. Even members of India's Interim Government in 1946 waffled on the matter. Bose had disappeared several times earlier in his life; so rumours began again in 1945 and a powerful myth grew."

For these two reasons, when news of Bose's death was reported, many in the INA refused to believe it and were able to transmit their disbelief to a wider public. The source of the widespread skepticism in the INA might have been Bose's senior officer J. R. Bhonsle. Bhonsle, unlike some other senior officers, had been kept in the dark about Bose's final plans, in part because he had also become an agent for the British. When a Japanese delegation, which included General Isoda, visited Bhonsle on 19 August 1945 to break the news and offer condolences, he responded by telling Isoda that Bose had not died, rather his disappearance has been covered up. Even Mohandas Gandhi swiftly said that he was skeptical about the air crash, but changed his mind after meeting the Indian survivor Habibur Rahman. As in 1940, before long, in 1945, rumours were rife about what had happened to Bose, whether he was in Soviet-held Manchuria, a prisoner of the Soviet army, or whether he had gone into hiding with the cooperation of the Soviet army.Lakshmi Swaminathan, of the all-female Rani of Jhansi regiment of the INA, later Lakshmi Sahgal, said in spring 1946 that she thought Bose was in China. Many rumours spoke of Bose preparing for his final march on Delhi. This was the time when Bose began to be sighted by people, one sighter claiming "he had met Bose in a third-class compartment of the Bombay express on a Thursday."

Enduring legends[edit]

In the 1950s, stories appeared in which Bose had become a sadhu, or Hindu renunciant. The best-known and most intricate of the renunciant tales of Subhas Bose, and one which, according to historian Leonard A. Gordon, may "properly be called a myth," was told in the early 1960s. Some associates of Bose, from two decades before, had formed an organization, the "Subhasbadi Janata", to promote this story in which Bose was now the chief sadhu of an ashram (or hermitage) in Shaulmari (also Shoulmari) in North Bengal. The Janata brought out published material, including several newspapers and magazines. Of these, some were long lived and some short, but all, by their number, attempted to create the illusion of the story's newsworthiness. The chief sadhu himself vigorously denied being Bose. Several intimates of Bose, including some politicians, who met with the sadhu, supported the denials. Even so, the Subhasbadi Janata was able to create an elaborate chronology of Bose's post-war activities.

According to this chronology, after his return to India, Bose returned to the vocation of his youth: he became a Hindu renunciant. He attended unseen Gandhi's cremation in Delhi in early February 1948; walked across and around India several times; became a yogi at a Shiva temple in Bareilly in north central India from 1956 to 1959; became a practitioner of herbal medicine and effected several cures, including one of tuberculosis; and established the Shaulmari Ashram in 1959, taking the religious name Srimat Saradanandaji.[nb 1] Bose, moreover, was engaged in tapasya, or meditation, to free the world, his goals having been broadened, after his first goal—freeing India—was achieved. His attempt to do so, however, and to assume his true identity, was being thwarted jointly by political parties, newspapers, the Indian government, even foreign governments.

Others stories appeared, spun by the Janata and by others. Bose was still in the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China; attended the Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's cremation in 1964, but, this time, neglecting to disallow a Janata-published newspaper to photograph him; and gave notice to the Janta of his return to Calcutta, for which several much publicized rallies were organized. Bose did not appear. The Janata eventually broke up, its reputation marred by successive non-appearances of its protagonist. The real sadhu of Shaulmari, who continued to deny he was Bose, died in 1977. It was also claimed that Nikita Khrushchev had reportedly told an interpreter during his New Delhi visit that Bose can be produced within 45 days if Nehru wishes.[39]

Still other stories or hoaxes—elucidated with conspiracies and accompanied with fake photographs—of the now-aging Bose being in the Soviet Union or China had traction well into the early 80s. Bose was seen in a photograph taken in Beijing, inexplicably parading with the Chinese Red Army. Bose was said to be in a Soviet Gulag. The Soviet leadership was said to be blackmailing Nehru, and later, Indira Gandhi, with the threat of releasing Bose. An Indian member of parliament, Samar Guha, released in 1979 what he claimed was a contemporaneous photograph of Bose. This turned out to have been doctored, comprising one-half Bose and one-half his elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose. Guha also charged Nehru with having had knowledge of Bose's incarceration in the Soviet Union even in the 1950s, a charge Guha recanted after he was sued.

For the remainder of the century and into the next, the renunciant legends continued to appear. Most prominently, a retired judge, who had been appointed by the Indian Government in 1999 to undertake an enquiry into Bose's death, brought public notice to another sannyasi or renunciant, "Gumnami Baba,"[nb 2] also known by his religious name, "Bhagwanji,"[nb 3] who was said to have lived in the town of Faizabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. According to historian Sugata Bose,

In October 2002, he (the judge) sent letters to members of the Bose family asking them to donate one milliliter of blood for a DNA match with "one Gumnami Baba," who "some persons" had claimed was "none other than Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The evidence naturally did not support this bizarre theory."

Earlier, in 1977, summing up the extant Bose legends, historian Joyce Chapman Lebra had written,

"Stories persist that Netaji has become a sannyasi (holy man) and has been seen in the Naga hill country of Assam; that he was a member of a Mongolian trade delegation in Peking; that he lives in Russia; that he is in the Chinese Army. ... Pictures have been produced to prove that Netaji is still alive. Bose's family have announced at times that he is in hiding and will return to India when the time is right. In February 1966, Suresh Chandra Bose announced in the press that his brother would return in March. To date, however, Bose has not reappeared to contradict the evidence that he died in the crash on Taiwan. But the myth lives on."

Perspectives on durability of legends[edit]

According to historians Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper:

The legend of 'Netaji' Bose's survival helped bind together the defeated INA. In Bengal it became an assurance of the province's supreme importance in the liberation of the motherland. It sustained the morale of many across India and Southeast Asia who deplored the return of British power or felt alienated from the political settlement finally achieved by Gandhi and Nehru.

Amid all this, Joyce Chapman Lebra, wrote in 2008:

" The Japanese have always wished to return the ashes to Bengal, as they believe that a soul will not rest in peace until the ashes are brought home. The prospect of having Netaji's ashes in Bengal, however, has been known to incite rioting, as happened one year at the annual 23 January convention at the Netaji Research Bureau in Calcutta. Hot-headed young Bengali radicals broke into the convention hall where Fujiwara, the founder of the INA, was to address the assemblage and shouted abuse at him. Apparently some newspaper had published a rumour that Fujiwara had brought Netaji's ashes back."


Figgess Report 1946[edit]

Confronted with rumours about Bose, which had begun to spread within days of his death, the Supreme Allied Command, South-east Asia, under Mountbatten, tasked Colonel (later Sir) John Figgess, an intelligence officer, with investigating Bose's death. Figgess's report, submitted on 25 July 1946, however, was confidential, being work done in Indian Political Intelligence (IPI), a partially secret branch of the Government of India. Figgess was interviewed in the 1980s by historian Leonard A. Gordon and confirmed writing the report. In 1997, the British Government made most of the IPI files available for public viewing in the India Office Records of the British Library. However, the Figgess report was not among them. A photocopy of the Figess report was soon anonymously donated for public viewing to the British Library in the European manuscripts collection, as Eur. MSS. c 785. Good candidates for the donor, according to historian Leonard Gordon, are Figgess himself, who had died in 1997, or more likely another British intelligence officer in wartime India, Hugh Toye, the author of the book, Toye, Hugh (1959), The Springing Tiger: A Study of the Indian National Army and of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bombay: Allied Publishers, ISBN 978-81-8424-392-5 .

The crucial paragraph in the Figgess report (by Colonel John Figgess, Indian Political Intelligence, 25 July 1946,) is:

"As a result of a series of interrogations of individuals named in the following paragraphs it is confirmed as certain that S.C. Bose died in a Taihoku Military Hospital (Nammon Ward) sometime between 1700 hours and 2000 hours local time on the August 18, 1945. The cause of death was heart failure resulting from multiple burns and shock. All the persons named below were interrogated at different times but the several accounts of the event agree both in substance and detail at all points where the knowledge of the subjects could have been deemed to be based on common experience. The possibility of a pre-arranged fabrication must be excluded since most of the individuals concerned had no opportunity of contact with one another prior to interrogation."

The remaining four pages of the Figgess report contain interviews with two survivors of the plane crash, Lt. Cols. Nonogaki and Sakai, with Dr. Yoshimi, who treated Bose in the hospital and with others involved in post-death arrangements. In 1979, Leonard Gordon himself interviewed "Lt. Cols. Nonogaki and Sakai, and, (in addition, plane-crash survivor) Major Kono; Dr. Yoshimi ...; the Japanese orderly who sat in the room through these treatments; and the Japanese officer, Lt. Hayashita, who carried Bose's ashes from the crematorium in Taipei to Japan."

The Figgess report and Leonard Gordon's investigations confirm four facts:

  • The crash near Taihoku airport on 18 August 1945 of a plane on which Subhas Chandra Bose was a passenger;
  • Bose's death in the nearby military hospital on the same day;
  • Bose's cremation in Taihoku; and
  • transfer of Bose's ashes to Tokyo.

Shah Nawaz Committee 1956[edit]

With the goal of quelling the rumours about what happened to Subhas Chandra Bose after mid-August 1945, the Government of India in 1956 appointed a three-man committee headed by Shah Nawaz Khan. Khan was at the time a Member of Parliament as well as a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian National Army and the best-known defendant in the INA Trials of a decade before. The other members of the committee were S. N. Maitra, ICS, who was nominated by the Government of West Bengal, and Suresh Chandra Bose, an elder brother of Bose. The committee is referred to as the "Shah Nawaj Committee" or the "Netaji Inquiry Committee."

From April to July 1956, the committee interviewed 67 witnesses in India, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In particular, the committee interviewed all the survivors of the plane crash, some of whom had scars on their bodies from burns. The committee interviewed Dr. Yoshimi, the surgeon at the Taihoku Military Hospital who treated Bose in his last hours. It also interviewed Bose's Indian companion on the flight, Habib ur Rahman, who, after the partition, had moved to Pakistan and had burn scars from the plane crash. Although there were minor discrepancies here and there in the evidence, the first two members of the committee, Khan and Maitra, concluded that Bose had died in the plane crash in Taihoku on 18 August 1945.

Bose's brother, Suresh Chandra Bose, however, after having signed off on the initial conclusions, declined to sign the final report. He, moreover, wrote a dissenting note in which he claimed that the other members and staff of the Shah Nawaz Committee had deliberately withheld some crucial evidence from him, that the committee had been directed by Jawaharlal Nehru to infer death by plane crash, and that the other committee members, along with Bengal's chief minister B. C. Roy, had pressured him bluntly to sign the conclusions of their final report.

According to historian Leonard A. Gordon,

"Out of the 181-page repetitious document that constitutes Suresh Bose's report, one main principle for dealing with the evidence emerges: if two or more stories by witnesses have any discrepancies between them, then the whole testimony of the witnesses involved is thereby discredited and assumed to be false. Using this principle, Bose is able to ... find that there was no crash and that his brother lives. There also appears to be one other half-stated assumption: Subhas Bose could not die before India achieved her freedom. Therefore he did not die in the plane crash said to have taken place on August 18, 1945."

Khosla Commission 1970[edit]

In 1977, two decades after the Shah Nawaz committee had reported its findings, historian Joyce Chapman Lebra wrote about Suresh Chandra Bose's dissenting note: "Whatever Mr Bose's motives in issuing his minority report, he has helped to perpetuate until the present the faith that Subhas Chandra Bose still lives." In fact, during the early 1960s, the rumours about Subhas Bose's extant forms only increased.

In 1970, the Government of India appointed a new commission to enquire into the "disappearance" of Bose. With a view to heading off more minority reports, this time it was a "one-man commission." The single investigator was G. D. Khosla, a retired chief justice of the Punjab High Court. As Justice Khosla had other duties, he submitted his report only in 1974.

Justice Khosla, who brought his legal background to bear on the issue in a methodical fashion, not only concurred with the earlier reports of Figess and the Shah Nawaz Committee on the main facts of Bose's death, but also evaluated the alternative explanations of Bose's disappearance and the motives of those promoting stories of Netaji sightings. Historian Leonard A. Gordon writes:

"Justice Khosla suggests the motives of many of the story-purveyors are less than altruistic. Some, he says, have clearly been driven by political goals or simply wanted to call attention to themselves. His patience in listening to some tales is surely remarkable. What could he, or anyone, have thought as he listened to the testimony of P. M. Karapurkar, agent of the Central Bank of India at Sholapur, who '... claimed that he receives direct messages from Bose by tuning his body like a radio receiving apparatus.

Mukherjee Commission 2005[edit]

In 1999, following a court order, the Indian government appointed retired Supreme Court judge M. K. Mukherjee to probe the death of Bose. The commission perused hundreds of files on Bose's death drawn from several countries and visited Japan, Russia and Taiwan. Though oral accounts were in favour of the plane crash, the commission concluded that those accounts could not be relied upon and that there was a secret plan to ensure Bose's safe passage to the USSR with the knowledge of Japanese authorities and Habibur Rahman. The commission observed that the ashes kept at the Renkoji temple, reported to be Bose's, were of Ichiro Okura, a Japanese soldier who died of cardiac arrest.[47]

The Mukherjee Commission submitted its report to on November 8, 2005. The report was tabled in the Indian Parliament on May 17, 2006. The Indian Government rejected the findings of the commission[47]

Japanese government report 1956, declassified September 2016[edit]

An investigative report by Japanese government titled "Investigation on the cause of death and other matters of the late Subhas Chandra Bose" was declassified on 1 September 2016. It concluded that Bose died in a plane crash in Taiwan on 18 August 1945. The report was completed in January 1956 and was handed over to the Indian embassy in Tokyo, but was not made public for more than 60 years as it was classified. According to the report, just after takeoff a propellor blade on the airplane in which Bose was traveling broke off and the engine fell off the plane, which then crashed and burst into flames. When Bose exited it his clothes caught fire and he was severely burned. He was admitted to hospital, and although he was conscious and able to carry on a conversation for some time he died several hours later.[48][49]


Explanatory notes[edit]



A memorial to Subhas Chandra Bose in the compound of the Renkōji Temple, Tokyo. Bose's ashes are stored in the temple in a golden pagoda. Bose died on 18 August 1945. His ashes arrived in Japan in early September 1945; after a memorial service, they were accepted by the temple on 18 September 1945.
Map of Central Burma showing the route taken by Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) group of 500 from Rangoon to Moulmein. The group traveled in a Japanese military convoy until they reached the river Sittang. After crossing the river, they walked the remaining 80 miles. At Moulmein, Bose, his party, and another INA group of 500, boarded Japanese trains on the Death Railway (which had been constructed earlier by British, Australian, and Dutch prisoners of war) to arrive in Bangkok in the first week of May 1945.
The last airplane journeys of Subhas Chandra Bose. Paths of completed flights are shown in blue. On 16 August 1945, he left Singapore for Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand). On either the 16th itself or on the 17th morning, he flew from Bangkok to Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City. On the 17 August afternoon, he flew from Saigon to Tourane, French Indo-China, now Da Nang, Vietnam. Early next morning at 5 AM, he left Tourane for Taihoku, Formosa, now Taipei, Taiwan. At 2:30 PM on 18 August, he left for Dairen, Manchukuo, now Dalian, China, but his plane crashed shortly after take off, and Bose died within a few hours in a Japanese military hospital. Had the crash not occurred the plane would have dropped off Bose at Dairen and proceeded to Tokyo along a flight path shown in red.
The Mitsubishi Ki-21 twin-engine heavy bomber (Allies code name Sally) that Subhas Chandra Bose and Habibur Rahman boarded at Saigon airport around 2 PM on 17 August 1945.
Clipping from Japanese newspaper, published on 23 August 1945, reporting the death of Bose and General Tsunamasa Shidei of the Japanese Kwantung Army in Japanese-occupied Manchuria.
  1. ^From Sanskritśrīmat (voc., hon.) sir +śārǎdā 1. myth. a title of Saraswati, 2. myth. a title of Durga+ānand (noun, m.) 1. joy, delight; 2. enjoyment, contentment, + (hon.) an expression of respect or affection (used with proper names). In McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, pp. 956, 948, 86, 374 resp, ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5 
  2. ^From Hindustanigumnām (adj): whose name is lost, anonymous; +bābā: colloq. a senior or respected male (term of address). In McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, pp. 270–271, 725 resp, ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5 
  3. ^From Sanskrit, bhagwān: 1 (adj) glorious, divine, to be adored, worshipful; 2 (noun, m.) the supreme being (especially as equated with Viṣṇu-Kṛṣṇa); ... 4 any revered person (term of address). In McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, p. 726, ISBN 978-0-19-864339-5 
  1. ^"If all else failed (Bose) wanted to become a prisoner of the Soviets: 'They are the only ones who will resist the British. My fate is with them. But as the Japanese plane took off from Taipei airport its engines faltered and then failed. Bose was badly burned in the crash. According to several witnesses, he died on 18 August in a Japanese military hospital, talking to the very last of India's freedom."
  2. ^"The retreat was even more devastating, finally ending the dream of liberating India through military campaign. But Bose still remained optimistic, thought of regrouping after the Japanese surrender, contemplated seeking help from Soviet Russia. The Japanese agreed to provide him transport up to Manchuria from where he could travel to Russia. But on his way, on 18 August 1945 at Taihoku airport in Taiwan, he died in an air crash, which many Indians still believe never happened."[2]
  3. ^"British and Indian commissions later established convincingly that Bose had died in Taiwan. These were legendary and apocalyptic times, however. Having witnessed the first Indian leader to fight against the British since the great mutiny of 1857, many in both Southeast Asia and India refused to accept the loss of their hero."
  4. ^"There are still some in India today who believe that Bose remained alive and in Soviet custody, a once and future king of Indian independence. The legend of 'Netaii' Bose's survival helped bind together the defeated INA. In Bengal it became an assurance of the province's supreme importance in the liberation of the motherland. It sustained the morale of many across India and Southeast Asia who deplored the return of British power or felt alienated from the political settlement finally achieved by Gandhi and Nehru.
  5. ^"On March 21, 1944, Subhas Bose and advanced units of the INA crossed the borders of India, entering Manipur, and by May they had advanced to the outskirts of that state's capital, Imphal. That was the closest Bose came to Bengal, where millions of his devoted followers awaited his army's "liberation." The British garrison at Imphal and its air arm withstood Bose's much larger force long enough for the monsoon rains to defer all possibility of warfare in that jungle region for the three months the British so desperately needed to strengthen their eastern wing. Bose had promised his men freedom in exchange for their blood, but the tide of battle turned against them after the 1944 rains, and in May 1945 the INA surrendered in Rangoon. Bose escaped on the last Japanese plane to leave Saigon, but he died in Formosa after a crash landing there in August. By that time, however, his death had been falsely reported so many times that a myth soon emerged in Bengal that Netaji Subhas Chandra was alive—raising another army in China or Tibet or the Soviet Union—and would return with it to "liberate" India.
  6. ^"Rumours that Bose had survived and was waiting to come out of hiding and begin the final struggle for independence were rampant by the end of 1945."
  7. ^"Marginalized within Congress and a target for British surveillance, Bose chose to embrace the fascist powers as allies against the British and fled India, first to Hitler's Germany, then, on a German submarine, to a Japanese-occupied Singapore. The force that he put together ... known as the Indian National Army (INA) and thus claiming to represent free India, saw action against the British in Burma but accomplished little toward the goal of a march on Delhi. ... Bose himself died in an airplane crash trying to reach Japanese-occupied territory in the last months of the war. His romantic saga, coupled with his defiant nationalism, has made Bose a near-mythic figure, not only in his native Bengal, but across India. It is this heroic, martial myth that is today remembered, rather than Bose's wartime vision of a free India under the authoritarian rule of someone like himself."
  8. ^"THE MYTH: But Bose had become a myth in his own lifetime, dating from the time he eluded house arrest and escaped from India to Afghanistan and Europe. Thousands of Indians refused to believe he was dead. Man is very mortal but myths die hard."
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
নেতাজি সুভাষ চন্দ্র বোস আন্তর্জাতিক বিমানবন্দর
Airport typePublic
OwnerAirports Authority of India
ServesKolkata metropolitan area
LocationJessore Road, Dum Dum, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Hub for
Elevation AMSL5 m / 16 ft
Coordinates22°39′17″N088°26′48″E / 22.65472°N 88.44667°E / 22.65472; 88.44667Coordinates: 22°39′17″N088°26′48″E / 22.65472°N 88.44667°E / 22.65472; 88.44667


Show map of West Bengal


Show map of India
Statistics (April 2016 - March 2017)
Aircraft movements124,154
Cargo tonnage152,415

Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (IATA: CCU, ICAO: VECC) is an international airport located in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, serving the Kolkata metropolitan area. It is located approximately 17 km (11 mi) from the city center. The airport was earlier known as Dum Dum Airport before being renamed after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement.

Spread over an area of 2,460 acres (1,000 ha), Kolkata airport is the largest hub for air traffic in the eastern part of the country and one of two international airports operating in West Bengal, the other being Bagdogra. The airport handled over 15.8 million passengers in fiscal year 2016-17 making it the fifth-busiest airport in India in terms of passenger traffic after Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. The airport is a major centre for flights to Northeast India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Southeast Asia. In 2014 and 2015, Kolkata Airport won the title of Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific region awarded by the Airport Council International.[4]


Kolkata airport traditionally served as a strategic stopover on the air route from Europe to Indochina and Australia.[5] Many pioneering flights passed through the airport, including Amelia Earhart's in 1937.[6] In 1924, KLM began scheduled stops at Calcutta, as part of their Amsterdam to Batavia (Jakarta) route.[7] The same year, a Royal Air Force aircraft landed in Calcutta as part of the first round-the-world expedition by any air force.[8]

The airport began as an open ground next to the Royal Artillery Armoury in Dum Dum.[9] Sir Stanley Jackson, Governor of Bengal, opened the Bengal Flying Club at Calcutta aerodrome in February 1929.[10] In 1930, the airfield was made fit for use throughout the year,[11] and other airlines began to utilise the airport. Air Orient began scheduled stops as part of a Paris to Saigon route,[12] and Imperial Airways began flights from London to Australia via Calcutta in 1933.[13] This began a trend that drew many airlines to Calcutta airport.

Calcutta played an important role in the Second World War. In 1942, the United States Army Air Forces7th Bombardment Group flew B-24 Liberator bombers from the airport on combat missions over Burma. The airfield was used as a cargo aerial port for the Air Transport Command, and was also used as a communication centre for the Tenth Air Force.[14]

Passenger services grew after the Second World War. Calcutta became a destination for the world’s first jet-powered passenger aircraft, the de Havilland Comet, on a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) route to London. Furthermore, in 1964 Indian Airlines introduced the first Indian domestic jet service, using Caravelle jets on the Calcutta–Delhi route.

Between the 1940s and 1960s, the airport was served by several major airlines including Aeroflot,[15]Air France,[16]Alitalia,[17]Cathay Pacific,[18]Japan Airlines,[19]Philippine Airlines,[20]KLM, Pan Am,[21]Lufthansa,[22]Swissair[23] and SAS.[24]

Due to the introduction of longer-haul aircraft and the poor political climate of Calcutta during the 1960s, several airlines discontinued their service to the airport. The 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War saw a large increase of both refugees and disease in Calcutta, causing more airlines to cease services to the city. In 1975, the airport opened the first dedicated cargo terminal in India.[5]

In the early 1980s, plans emerged to connect the airport with the city center by tram. The proposed route went to the airport from Maniktala, via Vivekananda Road, Ultadanga and Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue. The line partly completed 1985, but further expansion to the airport was cancelled due to the financial downing of Calcutta Tramways Company. The extension proposal re-appeared in 1999, but was cancelled.

The 1990s saw new growth for Calcutta airport, as the Indian aviation industry saw the arrival of new airlines such as Jet Airways and Air Sahara. A new domestic terminal was opened in 1995, and the airport was renamed in honour of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.[5] In 2000, a new international arrival hall was opened.


2005 saw the growth of low-cost carriers in the Indian aviation sector, with new airlines including SpiceJet, IndiGo and Kingfisher Airlines. This led to a dramatic rise in passenger numbers at the airport. Overcrowding in both terminals led to the implementation of a comprehensive modernisation plan for the airport.

Work included an expansion of runway 01L/19R, rapid-exit taxiways and parking bays. The runway was extended by 400 m (1,300 ft) on the northern side and 1000 ft on the southern side, and was fitted with CAT-I facilities for night use. A 119-year-old mosque that lies 30 meters from the runway' northern end prohibits further expansion in this direction.[25] The longer runway, 01R/19L, was upgraded from CAT-I to CAT-II ILS status to allow landings in poor visibility. In August 2014, it was announced that the instrument landing system of the primary runway would be upgraded to CAT-IIIb. This allows flights to operate till visibility drops below 50 metres. The secondary runway would be upgraded to CAT-II. The ₹120 crore upgradation work would start from February 2015 and would be completed by the end of 2015.[26][27]

The modernisation plan included some improvements of the airport's existing terminals, including the addition of extra ticketing counters, check-in kiosks and cafes to the domestic terminal in 2009. However, the need to replace the airport's terminals entirely led to plans for a new integrated terminal to serve both international and domestic destinations. A Thai-based company, the Italian-Thai Development (ITD) Corporation (ITD-ITDCem JV, a consortium of ITD and ITD Cementation) and the 125-year-old iconic Project Management Consultant - Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) was hired with Delhi-based designer Sikka Associates to construct the building. Construction commenced in November 2008, and the terminal was inaugurated on 20 January 2013 after overshooting the previous deadlines of July 2011 and August 2012.[28][29] The former airport hotel 'Ashok' was demolished to give way for two new five-star luxury hotels and a shopping mall in its place.[30] Future modernisation plans include the construction of an 86-meter-high Air Traffic Control Tower.[31]

Commercial operations were intended to start on 23 January 2013, the 116th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.[32] However, the shift to the new terminal was only completed on 16 March.[33]

Airport structure[edit]

Air India operates hangars at the airport, while Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil act as fuellers. Catering facilities are owned by Taj-Sats and Oberoi Flight Services.

The airport's new integrated terminal is spread over 233,000 m2 (2,510,000 sq ft) and is able to handle 25 million passengers annually, compared to the previous terminals' capacity of five million. The terminal is an L-shaped structure, containing six levels. It contains 128 check-in counters that utilise CUTE (Common User Terminal Equipment) technology, and has 78 immigration counters and twelve customs counters.[34] Passenger lounges are provided by Air India and Jet Airways. The terminal is equipped with 18 aerobridges.[35] and a further 57 remote parking bays. There are plans to construct an 18-foot bronze statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the integrated terminal complex.[36]

Kolkata's old international and domestic terminals closed when the integrated terminal opened.[33] However, the old international terminal may be used for future hajj services, and the domestic terminal may be used by regional airlines.[37] An earlier proposal of continuing low-cost carrier operations from the existing domestic terminal has been shelved due to the need to fully utilise the new integrated terminal's capacity.

In the financial year from April 2011 to March 2012, Kolkata airport served 10.3 million passengers, 85% which were travelling domestically.[38] The withdrawal of Lufthansa's service to Frankfurt in March 2012 left Kolkata with no direct connections beyond Asia.[39] However, other international operations increased in 2012.[38] The new terminal has attracted some airlines to expand their route networks to include Kolkata.[40][41]

In September 2012, the Airports Authority of India upgraded the airport's cargo-handling capacity, enabling it to cater for the demand until 2015–16. There has been a 25 per cent growth in international cargo movement to and from Kolkata airport and a 15 per cent increase in outward transit. Automobile parts accounted for the bulk of the growth in the movement of cargo from the city to other countries. In November 2008 the first Centre for Perishable Cargo (CPC) in West Bengal was opened at the airport. The CPC has an area of 742.5 m2 (7,992 sq ft) and an annual storage capacity of 12,000 million tonnes. The CPC had been undergoing trials that started in June 2008 and was built with a ₹67.5 million (US$1.0 million) grant-in-aid from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) part of the Commerce Ministry.[42] The volume of export was 21,683 tonnes in 2008–09, during the current fiscal more than 23,042 tonnes of cargo were handled by the airport. Similarly the volume of import cargo increased from 16,863 tonnes to 18,733 tonnes, increasing over ten per cent during the same period. However, in 2008–09 the total volume of cargo handled by the airport declined by 4.8% from the previous year.


The construction of the new terminal, as well as runway expansion, marked the end of Phase I of the project. AAI officials have announced that they are prepared to execute Phase 2 of the Kolkata Airport expansion plan. This primarily involves around the construction of an 157-meter ATC Tower to provide controllers with a better view of the planes at the new terminal. The building will be accompanied by a 4-storey office complex.[43]

New Expansion Plan

In the next four years, the airport is set to increase its passenger capacity by 100% to handle up to 40 million passengers annually within the next four years (2021). Kolkata airport director Atul Dixit confirmed that the next phase of expansion plan is on the way, as the airport is on the verge of reaching its capacity of 20 million passengers annually. This new expansion plan will be carried out in 2 phases.

Phase 1: Airport officials said as per the first phase of the expansion plan, the authorities are going to link the old terminal of the airport with the new one. It will connect the corridor of the old terminal with the new one with the help of three aerobridges and walkalators and would also have walk-in gates on the ground floor. This building will be used for boarding and de-boarding of passengers. Passengers arriving in the old terminal would take the connecting bridge to the new terminal and then leave the airport. This would reduce peak-hour congestion when several flights do not get enough apron space. This plan is ready and hopefully by the end of this financial year(17-18) will be completed. This would immediately increase the passenger capacity by a few million and would solve the space crunch for the time being.

Phase 2: A master plan has already been made for the construction of a third terminal that will increase the airport's passenger capacity to 40 million. The plan has received the first nod from the aviation ministry. The new third terminal will come up at the north of the current integrated terminal. The Air Traffic Navigation Building or ATC and the old international terminal that are situated beyond the old domestic terminal will be demolished to make way for the new terminal building. The new terminal is expected to house only domestic flights while a larger portion of the existing integrated terminal will be allotted to international flights.

In addition the Kolkata Airport is soon going to have new hangars and bays as part of the current expansion plan and work is underway.[44]

Additionally, the current Kolkata Metro expansion plans include two new lines to the airport, one from Noapara connecting at Barasat, and the other from New Garia.[45] Both lines will converge at the airport and form an underground station.

Second Airport[edit]

Behala Airport is located at Behala in the city of Kolkata, India. It is more commonly referred to as Behala Flying Training Institute (BFTI) or Behala Flying Club (BFC) and is the second of the two airports in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area and other being the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The Ministry of Civil Aviation, India and Airports Authority of India (AAI) have plans to develop it into a full-fledged commercial airport by expanding the runway to 4,500 feet to ease the pressure on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. Recently a helicopter service was started to connect Kolkata with Durgapur by air.

Airlines and destinations[edit]


AirAsiaKuala Lumpur–International
Air DeccanAgartala, Jamshedpur
AirAsia IndiaBagdogra, Bangalore,[46]Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Jaipur, Nagpur (begins 17 March 2018),[47]Ranchi
Air IndiaAgartala, Aizawl, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Dhaka, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Gaya, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Kathmandu, Mumbai, Port Blair, Silchar, Varanasi, Yangon
Alliance AirGuwahati, Lilabari, Ranchi, Shillong, Tezpur
Bhutan AirlinesBangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Paro
Biman Bangladesh AirlinesChittagong, Dhaka
Buddha AirKathmandu (begins 1 September 2018)
Cathay DragonHong Kong
China Eastern AirlinesKunming
Druk AirBangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Paro, Singapore
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi
GoAirAhmedabad, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Chennai (ends 24 March 2018), Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Port Blair, Pune
IndiGoAgartala, Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mangalore,[48]Mumbai, Nagpur, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam
Jet AirwaysAizawl, Bagdogra (ends 25 March 2018),[49]Bangalore, Chandigarh (begins 3 September 2018), Dhaka, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Indore (begins 1 September 2018), Jorhat (ends 25 March 2018), Mumbai, Lucknow (ends 25 March 2018), Port Blair (ends 25 March 2018),[50]Pune, Silchar (ends 25 March 2018), Vadodara (ends 25 March 2018)
Myanmar Airways InternationalYangon
Qatar AirwaysDoha
Regent AirwaysChittagong, Dhaka
Silk AirSingapore
Singapore AirlinesSingapore
SpiceJetAgartala, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Chennai, Dhaka, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Jabalpur, Mumbai, Patna, Port Blair, Pune, Silchar, Srinagar (begins 25 March 2018),[51]Surat, Visakhapatnam
SriLankan AirlinesColombo
Thai AirAsiaBangkok–Don Mueang
Thai AirwaysBangkok–Suvarnabhumi
US-Bangla AirlinesChittagong, Dhaka
VistaraChennai (begins 25 March 2018),[52]Delhi, Kochi (begins 25 March 2018),[52]Port Blair, Pune
Zoom AirDelhi, Jabalpur



The airport has two parallel runways,

Runway NumberLengthWidthApproach Lights/ILS
01L/19R2,790 m (9,150 ft)46 m (151 ft)CAT I / CAT I
01R/19L3,627 m (11,900 ft)50 m (160 ft)CAT III-B / CAT II

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • 2 May 1953: A BOACde Havilland Comet bound for Delhi crashed after takeoff from Calcutta Airport with the loss of 43 lives, including six British nationals. Parts of the aircraft were found spread over an area of eight square miles, near Jugalgari, a village some 25 miles north-west of Calcutta, suggesting disintegration before impact with the ground.[54]
  • 12 June 1968: A Pan-AmBoeing 707-321C struck a tree 1128m short of the runway during a night-time visual approach in rain. The aircraft subsequently crashed and caught fire. The fuselage remained largely intact, although the aircraft's landing gear broke off. Out of the 10 crew and 53 passengers aboard, 1 crew member and 5 passengers suffered fatal injuries due to the fire.[55]


The airport has a facility of prepaid taxis and air-conditioned buses connecting it to the city. As part of the larger modernisation programme, a flyover at Nagerbazar and an entry ramp on VIP Road have also been constructed. A 2 km flyover from Kestopur to Jora Mandir was built to speed up airport-bound traffic. These reduce journey times to the airport. Parking facilities at the new terminal include two underground parking levels accommodating 3000 cars, as well as an outdoor carpark which can handle an additional 2000 cars.

The airport is connected to the Kolkata Suburban Railway system. The four-kilometre-long elevated track connects the airport's Biman Bandar station with Dumdum Cantonment, passing Jessore Road. Electric multiple unit rolling stock serve the line. The railway line has seen poor patronage, leading to plans to replace it with a metro system.

See also[edit]



 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^"Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-III"(PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original(PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  2. ^"Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-II"(PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original(PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  3. ^"Traffic News for the month of March 2017: Annexure-IV"(PDF). Airports Authority of India. 27 April 2017. p. 3. Archived from the original(PDF) on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  4. ^"Which airports offer the world's best customer service?". CNN. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  5. ^ abc"気になる薄毛の事". nscbiairport.org. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  6. ^"Amelia Earhart's Circumnavigation Attempt". Tripline.net. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  7. ^"Amsterdam- Batavia Flight". Flight Global. 20 November 1924. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  8. ^"Amsterdam- Round-The-World Flights". Flight Global. 22 May 1924. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  9. ^"Air Routes in India". Flight Global. 15 April 1920. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  10. ^"Bengal Flying Club Opened". Flight Global. 7 March 1929. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^"State of Air Transport in the British Empire". Flight Global. 29 August 1930. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  12. ^"1930 Histoire d'Air Orient". 1930 Histoire d'Air Orient. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  13. ^"Global Networks Before Globalisation: Imperial Airways and the Development of Long-Haul Air Route". Globalization and World Cities Research Network. 5 December 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  14. ^Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  15. ^"Image: su57-04.jpg, (2391 × 1449 px)". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  16. ^"Air France". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  17. ^"Image: az61-11.jpg, (2304 × 1325 px)". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  18. ^"Image: cathay19.jpg, (570 × 720 px)". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  19. ^"JAL - Japan Air Lines". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  20. ^"Philippine 1949 Timetable". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  21. ^"PanAm Schedule". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  22. ^"Lufthansa timetable May 1, 1960". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  23. ^"Image: sr51-06.jpg, (2420 × 1222 px)". timetableimages.com. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  24. ^"SAS – Scandinavian Airlines System". Timetableimages.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  25. ^Mouparna Bandyopadhyay (1 June 2008). "An expressindia article regarding the mosque built within the airport complex". Expressindia.com. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  26. ^Sanjay, Mandal (14 August 2014). "Airport lands big CAT to fight fog". The Telegraph. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  27. ^"Fog, rain won't hold up flights any more". TNN. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
Outside view of the airport
Check-in area of the new integrated terminal
A view of the Runway 01R/19L.

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