Chennai airport’s new international terminal is set to be launched in a month from now. With operations going full-fledged in the new domestic terminal, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is all set to commission the new international terminal within a month, said Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal.

Addressing newspersons, after inspecting the new terminal here, the minister said: “It is true that there have been some deficiencies. But all of them have been addressed. We are now waiting for manpower support from the Customs and Immigration Departments and Central Industrial Security Forces. Once we hear from them, we can start operations.”

Besides, a portion of the secondary runway will also be operational in the next few days. The first 7,500 ft of the secondary runway will be commissioned very soon. “Almost immediately,” said V.P. Agrawal, Chairman of Airports Authority of India, who accompanied the Minister. “It has been inspected and cleared by the Director General of Civil Aviation, and we only await a formal clearance certificate from them,” he said.

Built at a cost of Rs 450 crore, the extended runway could not be put to use for over two years now as it was marred by several problems including safety issues.

“All of them have been cleared. The first 7,500 feet is usable now. The only impediment to use the entire 9,000-feet stretch is that there are obstructions, such as houses, a water tank and some mobile towers. We are hopeful of clearing them very soon,” said Agrawal.

New airport

In another development, the proposed greenfield airport project at Sriperumbudur will be discussed with the State Government tomorrow. Anil Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, will meet the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu to discuss the project.

According to Agrawal, the new airport would require 5,000 acres of land and would cost over Rs 20,000 crore.

(This article was published on May 17, 2013)
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