|In a few months, a new expansion project will begin at the Chennai airport.|
This is just five years after Phase I of the modernisation drive was completed at the facility.
Airport officials said AECOM, the consultant for Phase II of the project, has suggested designs with facilities similar to Singapore’s Changi airport.
This firm was part of a consortium that designed terminal 4 of the Changi airport that has been rated the best in the world for years now.
“This new integrated terminal will showcase themes based on the culture of Tamil Nadu with paintings, murals and statues. These themes will include Bharatanatyam, folk art and Tanjore paintings. The idea is to blend international facilities and an indigenous touch,” an official said.
Officials said the new design would ensure that infrastructure problems such as the collapse of glass panels or leaking roofs are avoided.
“The previous terminals faced such problems owing to a series of issues. We will consider Chennai’s climate and design the orientation of the terminal accordingly,” he said.
With a host of facilities like a specialised baggage scanning system and a security system, the city airport’s new integrated terminal will certainly make travel far more comfortable for passengers, airport officials claimed.
While the old terminals will be pulled down, the existing international and domestic terminals on either end will serve as the domestic terminal, and in place of the old terminals, an international terminal will come up, the officials noted.
“The airport will look like one huge terminal. The domestic and international terminals will be separate entities but they will be connected,” an official said.
The Phase II modernisation project is estimated to cost ₹2,500 crore and will increase the capacity of terminals from 18 million to 35 million.
Also, aircraft movement per hour will be increased to 40.
The new terminal is likely to become operational in four years.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) received the final approval from the Public Investment Board recently and has now floated tenders to begin the project.
“The tender is likely to be awarded in a month and the contractor will begin the work in about two months. It will take three-and-a-half years to finish the project,” an AAI official said.