Singapore's Changi Airport International (CAI) has decided to increase its stake in Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd (BAPL) to 32.2 per cent from 26 per cent held since the project began in 2009.

The stake increase was announced during West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee's official visit to Singapore and at a business forum attended by Singapore-based businessmen.

The CAI stake increase in BAPL was approved by the state government last month.

"The project is looking promising for us to increase the stake in BAPL," CAI CEO Lim Liang Song told PTI today.

The Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in West Bengal will improve the connectivity between the North East Indians and the BAPL townships as well as industrial zones, he said.

The airport being set up by BAPL in Andal, near Asansol is expected to commence operations from December.

WBIDC which plays a pioneering role in provision of industrial infrastructure in West Bengal entered into a Joint Venture Development Agreement (JVDA) with BAPL in 2008 to set up Durgapur Aerotropolis in Durgapur-Asansol region in Burdwan district of West Bengal.

This comprised a green field Airport, aviation-intensive businesses and related enterprises, clusters of business parks, logistics parks, industrial parks and a township.

CAI and BAPL also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the setting up of an aviation training academy in West Bengal.

"CAI recognises technical education as an important means to uplift the quality of life by improving employability and creating opportunities for development through important skills to students," Lim said.

The academy, for which feasibility study is underway, is aimed at equiping students with necessary skills for the aviation industry.

"It will equip students with the necessary skills for the aviation industry and cultivate a mindset to acquire more qualification and skills in their career development," said Lim.

Singapore's Institute of Technical Education would be a key training partner of CAI.

Welcoming the academy initiative, BAPL Managing Director Partha Ghosh said it would have the potential to provide a sustainable future for the youth of West Bengal.

"West Bengal requires a world class facility for aviation training and we are happy that we found the right partner in CAI, to add on to the sustainable approach for a holistic growth of the state," he said.

The Mamata Banerjee led delegation also entered into understanding with some Singapore based companies.

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