The modernised Chennai airport is ready for inauguration. Official sources told Business Line that a communication will soon be sent to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, seeking time from him to inaugurate the airport anytime after August 1.
Conceding that the project had been delayed, the officials said that the initial target of completing the project in 24 months was very ambitious.
Among the reasons cited for the delay are the Centre taking over a year to give permission to a Chinese company from where the aerobridges were to be procured and the delay in the Army vacating land at the airport.
“All these are issues of the past. The Chairman, Airports Authority of India, inspected the modernised building this week and now it is ready to be opened,” a senior official said.
The Centre had, in April 2007, decided to upgrade Chennai airport to international standards.
The AAI had developed the master plan and design of the terminal through global architectural design competition. An inter-ministerial group had approved these plans, which focused on enhancing the runway capacity, apron capacity and the capacity of terminal buildings.
The project was sanctioned in August 2008 at an initial cost of Rs 1,808 crore, which was later revised to Rs 2,015 crore. The project consists of construction of a new domestic terminal building, extension of the existing Anna international terminal and the secondary runway across the Adyar River.
After completion of the work, passenger handling capacity at Chennai will increase from 9 million to 23 million.