The proposed Parandur greenfield airport near Chennai should have a parallel runway, an international cargo village, an aero city and a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility. These were some of the suggestions given by industry representatives to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin at the first meeting between the state government and stakeholders on the airport.

The State government finalised the location for the second airport last week.

The airport should have parallel runways, unlike the intersecting runways in Chennai airport, to ensure unhindered aircraft movement and efficiency in handling, the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

The Chamber has urged the state government to address connectivity issues before commissioning the greenfield airport.

Global aviation bodies such as the International Air Transport Association and International Civil Aviation Organisation have forecast that India would have among the highest aircraft acquisition rates in future. Therefore, aircraft support and an MRO facility have to be planned along with the airport.

CII has recommended an aero city around the airport, with modern world-class facilities and infrastructure. A convention centre for global conferences and exhibitions, besides facilities for maintenance and repair, aviation ancillary units and commercial establishments could also be included in the airport project.

FIEO saidthe second airport wou;d help in fulfilling the State government’s vision of reaching a $1-trillion economy. The greenfield airport could become an international gateway, not only for South India, but also for the entire country.

The volume of Exim cargo handled by Chennai has come down in the last five years, while that handled by Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports has increased many times over. In the absence of adequate handling facilities in Chennai, the Exim trade sends its air cargo by road to airports in neighbouring states, incurring an additional expense. This has also led to some manufacturers shifting base to Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

The proposed airport should have world-class cargo handling and transhipment facilities which could help Chennai emerge as a transhipment hub for the South-East Asian region.

As the Chennai–Bengaluru highway is congested, a separate corridor from the city to airport by Rail/Metro/ Road Connectivity has been suggested.

An international cargo village may be created to handle different types of cargo, including perishables and pharma. A world-class immigration complex has also been proposed to facilitate investors, tourists as well as for medical tourism, FIEO said.

An investment of ₹20,000 crore is being planned to develop a greenfield airport at Parandur, 60 km from Chennai airport, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said in a release last week. This comes after Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh had, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, said that the State government had shortlisted Parandur for a greenfield airport.

The Parandur airport would handle 10 crore people annually; it will have two runways, terminal buildings, taxiways, apron and a cargo terminal. 

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