Emphasis on priority to public transport yet to translate into action

The Hindu

Most of the work on the new domestic terminal completed, says AAI Chairman

V.P. Agrawal

Work on the secondary runway at the Chennai airport has been completed and it will become operational from the middle of April, said V.P. Agrawal, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI), here on Tuesday.

Mr. Agrawal, who arrived from Thiruvananthapuram, inspected various works progressing at the airport and held a meeting with officials. Later talking to journalists, he said the total length of the secondary runway would be 10,000 ft, of which the AAI would use 8,000 ft. This included the bridge across the Adyar, he said.

Talking about the new domestic terminal, Mr. Agrawal said most of the works were completed at the new terminal. Power connection would be provided to the new building by the end of this month. Forty-five days after the AAI completes testing works at the new place, it would become operationalised. When the new terminal becomes operational, the old terminal would be closed down.

As far as the new international terminal is concerned, the physical part would be completed by March 15 and after completing testing works, the terminal would become operationalised. Depending upon the second airport at Sriperumbudur, the old international terminal would be modified and put to use, he said.

Answering a question on the second airport at Sriperumbudur, he said it would have a runway, terminal building and approach radar. The new airport would carry spillover traffic from the existing airport. The AAI in association with the State government would operate the airport for eight years and then dilute the holdings, he said.

“If the State government allocates the required 5,000 acres of land, the AAI can take up the work of creating the runway and terminal building with a capacity to handle five million passengers annually at Sriperumbudur. But, the AAI may not take up extensive works at the second airport,” he said.

With regard to expansion of runways at Tiruchi, Madurai and Tuticorin, the State government has to provide the land. Only then runway expansion work in these airports could be taken up.

Expansion work on cargo terminal is also nearing completion. By March-end the Automatic Storage and Retrieval System would be installed at the cargo complex. This would be the first of its kind facility in the cargo area at the Indian airports, Mr. Agrawal added.