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 Indian independence movement. Spread over an area of 2,460 acres (1,000 ha), Kolkata airport is the largest in eastern India and one of only two international airports operating in West Bengal, the other being in Bagdogra.
It is the fifth busiest airport of India in terms of passenger traffic and is a major center for flights to North-East India, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia. Kolkata airport traditionally served as a strategic stopover on the air route from Europe to Indochina and Australia. Many pioneering flights passed through the airport, including that of Amelia Earhart in 1937. In 1924, KLM began scheduled stops at Calcutta, as part of their Amsterdam to Batavia (Jakarta) flight The same year, a Royal Air Force aircraft landed in Calcutta as part of the first round-the-world expedition by any air force.
The airport began as an open ground next to the Royal Artillery Armoury in Dum Dum. Sir Stanley Jackson, Governor of Bengal, opened the Bengal Flying Club at Calcutta aerodrome in February 1929. In 1930, the airfield was made fit for use throughout the year, and other airlines began to utilise the airport. Air Orient began scheduled stops as part of a Paris to Saigon route, and Imperial Airways began flights from London to Australia via Calcutta in 1933. 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 Forces 7th 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 center for the Tenth Air Force.