Concerns over facilities at Chennai Airport’s new integrated terminal

Airport staff say the number of aerobridges, check counters will be insufficient when it opens in December

Airport staff say the number of aerobridges, check counters will be insufficient when it opens in December

Airport and airline staff have raised concerns about the new integrated terminal at Chennai Airport, which is expected to open by the end of this year.

On September 15-16, the Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Sanjeev Kumar, inspected the multi-level car park and the integrated terminal and reviewed the works. During the inspection, he saw the facilities of both buildings and provided his comments to the airport authorities.

Sources at the airport said many concerns surfaced a few months before the integrated terminal opened and expect them to be resolved before the grand opening. The terminal, already plagued by delays, was built in two phases, and the first phase will be completed by the end of this year, after which the international terminal will be moved there.

“When it opens to air passengers in December, we understand that only three aerobridges may be available. For planes that will not have the aerobridge facility, they must park in remote bays [located away from the terminal], and passengers will have to be transported in buses. It will cause a lot of inconvenience to passengers. The remaining aerobridges will not be available until construction of the entire terminal is complete, which could take at least a year. The AAI needs to find an interim arrangement,” a source said.

“Similarly, the number of check-in counters will initially be fewer. There can only be 60 counters compared to the 72 counters available in the existing international terminal,” the source said.

“No reason to worry”

AAI officials said the concerns were unnecessary and the number of aerobridges and check-in counters would be higher than expected. “In December, there will be seven aerobridges, and when the whole project is finished, there will be a total of 17 aerobridges. Additionally, there will be 100 check-in counters initially and 140 once the project is completed,” a senior AAI official said.

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