Chennai will get its second airport at Parandur—located around 60 km south-west of the existing airport. The Tamil Nadu government has shortlisted Parandur to develop a greenfield airport, said Union Minister of State of Civil Aviation VK Singh.
The minister said in a written reply to a query from Kanimozhi NVN Somu in Rajya Sabha whether the government has finalised the location of the greenfield airport.
Proposal for site clearance
The minister said that the State government is now required to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for grant of ‘site clearance’ for the finalised site.
The development of a greenfield airport is governed under the Greenfield Airports (GFA) Policy, 2008 with the State government or an airport developer willing to establish an airport. The responsibility of implementation of airport projects including funding of the projects rests with the concerned airport developer including the respective State government.
Parandur most feasible
The Tamil Nadu government identified four potential sites for greenfield airports and Airports Authority of India (AAI) found Parandur and Pannur as more feasible for the project.
The AAI has forwarded the pre-feasibility report to Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation advising it to carry out obstacle limitation survey survey and charting work at the two identified sites. After comparing the viability and feasibility, including the presence of habitations and industrial establishment, as well as the land acquisition cost of both the sites, the State government shortlisted Parandur, the Minister said in the reply.
Last month, there was a series of meetings at New Delhi over the identification of the site between the Civil Aviation Ministry and Tamil Nadu Government.
New airport needed in 8 years
With Chennai airport’s air travel to grow annually at 15 to 20 per cent, a greenfield airport will be required in 7-8 years — the same time frame that will be required to build a greenfield airport, said an industry official.
Interestingly, it’s been nearly 10 years since the former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, while releasing Tamil Nadu’s vision 2023 document in March 2012, had said that nearly ₹20,000 crore will be invested in the greenfield project to enable handling of around 40 million passengers annually. The second airport then was proposed in the auto cluster of Sriperumbudur, about 40 km west of Chennai, spanning 4,800 acres.