December deadline for 2nd Chennai airport

Chennai: In a move to handle the growing air passenger capacity, a second airport will soon come up in the city and the place for that will be identified within this year.

Speaking to News Today, Chennai Airport director G Chandramouli said that the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has assured to find a suitable location before 31 December this year. “Only after the land is finalised all further steps can be taken,” he added.

On Thursday, AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said the Centre is in talks with the Tamilnadu government for a second airport in Chennai required by 2030-2035.

Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey and AAI officials have held two meetings with the State government in the last three months to discuss the issue.

“Eighteen months back, we were handling 28 movements per hour (at Chennai) and after making improvements in our air navigation system, we hope to reach 40. With this, we expect we will be managing Chennai till 2030 or 2035. But a city like Chennai will definitely require a second airport thereafter,” Mohapatra told reporters.

According to a study carried out by aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), Chennai handled 18.4 million passengers in 2016 and is expected to reach its maximum capacity of 23-26 million by 2020, if traffic grows at an estimated rate of 12.5 per cent.

The CAPA is of the view that capacity enhancement at Chennai Airport could be challenging due to airside (hangars,runway, parking bays) constraints.
The think-tank estimates an expenditure of $500 million for a second airport in Chennai.

Mohapatra said that a decision will be taken later on whether the second airport will be a greenfield airport (new airport on unsused land) developed on public-private partnership (PPP) model or whether it will be developed by the AAI.

If it is approved, Chennai will be the third city in the country to have a second airport. Mumbai and Delhi are the two metropolitan cities for which the government has approved a second airport.


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