Bagdogra Airport, (IATA: IXB, ICAO: VEBD) is located in about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of the city of Siliguri in the Darjeeling district in northern West Bengal, India. It is operated as a civil enclave at AFS Bagdogra of the Indian Air Force. It is the gateway airport to the hill station towns of Darjeeling, Kurseong, Mirik, and Kalimpong and the state of Sikkim, and sees thousands of tourists annually. Permits for Foreign tourists intending to journey to Sikkim are issued at this airport. The airport is a major stop in the region with flights connecting Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Guwahati. The airport also has regular helicopter flights to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The central government of India conferred customs airport status to the airport in 2002 with limited international operations. Air traffic at Bagdogra crossed 1 million for the first time growing at 43.6% percent in 2014-15. This is one of the few airports in India with zero sales tax on aviation turbine fuel or ATF which believed to be the reason for more no of flights and such a rapid growth in the passengers figure.
The airbase is home to the IAF No. 20 Wing, as also to the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Mig-21) FL fighter aircraft of the No. 8 Squadron and a Helicopter Unit. Along with the airbase at Hasimara, it is responsible for combat air operations over a large area including North Bengal, Sikkim, and if needed, Bhutan. The base caters to all military air traffic for the Indian Army's XXXIII Corps based nearby in Sukna.
The state government had handed over 14.5 acres (59,000 m2) of land to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for developing infrastructure for night landing in 2010. AAI also expanded the apron at the same time, enabling the parking of 5 Airbus A320 class aircraft simultaneously. The IAF, which maintains the ATC and runway, gave permission for night landings by civilian aircraft allowing flights past 6 pm in 2013.