AAI's Chennai Airport gearing up for a spectacular makeover

Chennai Airport is the fourth biggest airport in India in terms of passenger handled every year. The 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 modernisation of Chennai Airport, owned and managed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), was commenced in the year 2019. The first stage was 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 demolishment of international terminal T-3, with an area of 42,300 sqm. and construction of new terminal. The entire project, estimated to cost Rs 2,467 crore, will be commissioned by December 2022.

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 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 security aspects are given equal importance. AAI has also taken up works to enhance the efficiency of operational area (air-side) 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.

It is believed that commissioning of new terminal will not only create new opportunities for the communities around the airport but will also provide the required impetus to health and educational tourism.

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