Chennai Airport gearing up for a spectacular makeover

AAI’s Chennai Airport has been witnessing tremendous traffic growth over the years which has necessitated the revamp of the airport aimed at providing a world -class terminal to passengers. The second phase of Chennai Airport Modernization commenced in the year 2019 when Hon’ble Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone for the prestigious project.

The modernization of the Chennai Airport is planned in two stages. The first stage has seen dismantling of the existing Domestic Terminal T-2 with an area of 19,250 sqm. for construction of new facility which is scheduled to be commissioned by June 2021. The second stage will be the demolishment of International Terminal T-3, with an area of 42,300 sqm. and construction of New Terminal. The total project will be commissioned by December 2022.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 2467 Cr which also includes integration of airside corridor for seamless flow, augmentation of contact bays, integration of multi-level mechanized car park and Metro rail.

The New combined terminal (Stage-1+ Stage-2) which will function as one large Integrated terminal for International and Domestic operations having a total area of 2,18,000 sqm. will enhance the present capacity from 21 million passengers per annum to 35 million passengers per annum.

The design of roof is most important as it gives the structure an iconic look. It is derived from the traditional form of local art and culture; the movement of traditional costume from Tamil Nadu’s Bharatanatyam dance. The pleats in these costumes open beautifully when the dancer forms particular postures and the roof will reflect the movement and lightness of the garment. The fabric-like roof lightly sits above the terminal with the ripples creating from layers of curvature roof structure. The roof then cantilevers over the forecourt road to create a welcoming space and weather protection for the passenger and visitors alike. Evidently, the new terminal and its interiors will reflect an array of aesthetic elements taken from the rich cultural repository of Tamil Nadu.

The new terminal will also be GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) compliant, with various eco-friendly materials planned to be used during the construction phase. A host of new facilities will ensure passengers flow is smooth and safety/security aspects are given equal importance. Apart from multiple lounges and master concessionaires; Automated Tray Retrieval System (ATRS), Self-Baggage Drop (SBD) Passenger Flow Monitoring System (PFMS) and Boarding Process Control e-Gates will enhance passenger convenience.

With the commissioning of Multi-Level Car Parking (MLCP), the present 1200 car parking capacity will increase to 3000. The buildings will accommodate car parking area along with spaces created for commercial use.

AAI has also taken up works to enhance the efficiency of operational area (airside) of the airport by constructing Rapid Exit Taxiways (RET’s), taxiways to the main runway (07/25), taxiway straightening works etc. The RETs will reduce runway occupancy time of aircraft. The introduction of MARS (Multi Apron Ramp System) ensures optimal usage of tarmac/Apron.

Commissioning of New Terminal will not only create new opportunities for the communities around airport but will also provide the required impetus to health and educational tourism

Chennai Airport is the fourth biggest airport in India in terms of passenger handled every year. With the new terminal coming up, Chennai Airport will be termed as one of the unique engineering marvels.

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