Logistics

Chennai airport opening may be delayed due to lack of power supply

Swetha Kannan T. E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on November 14, 2017 Published on March 19, 2012

A view of the renovated Chennai airport from tarmac. - Photo: T.E. Raja Simhan   -  Business Line

The refurbished Chennai airport is staring at a crucial last mile hurdle before it opens its gates to the public.

With power yet to arrive, one is not sure if the opening of the airport will meet the mid-April target.

According to an official, who did not wish to be named, power is expected to arrive any time soon. But with at least a month required for trials and testing, the airport inauguration could be deferred by a week or so. The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board is working on it; line installation is going on, said the official.

The power requirement at the expanded airport is around 110 kVa – more than three times the current needs. Power was promised by December, but there has been indefinite delay.

Says Mr E.P. Hareendranathan, Airport Director, Chennai: “Once we get power, we will start testing all electro mechanical equipment such as conveyor systems, lifts, air-conditioning and security systems. Tests have to go on for at least a month, before we can start flight takeoff.”

Dummy trials

During this period, dummy trials will also be conducted with 50 to 60 passengers.

The drill includes mock check-in, baggage scan and other terminal-related processes.

“After this, we will fly one or two actual flights for a few days, in the lean period, after 11 a.m. We are yet to coordinate with the airlines on this. More flights and airlines will be shifted in a phased manner.”

The Rs 2,015-crore expansion of the Chennai airport includes construction of a new domestic terminal and expansion of international terminal by 59,300 sq. m.

The project involves extension of secondary runway (which is currently 2.07 km long) by 1.03 km.

“The runway is almost ready,” assured Mr Hareendranathan. There will also be 14 additional parking bays.

The expanded airport is likely to charge a user development fee.

Airlines will have to shell out more as space rent from Rs 1,000 a sq. metre to Rs 1,250 a sq m.

The project has been long in the making, with the deadline being revised several times.

One of the major issues was the acquisition of Defence land for setting up a utility building, an a/c plant and sub-station, which was eventually sorted out.

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Published on March 19, 2012
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