Chennai airport’s capacity to handle international passengers will double by the year-end to eight million once it begins using the international arrival hall. A few international departures will begin from the hall, which is lying unused now, before October.
A decision to start making use of the international hall was taken at a stakeholders’ meeting held by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) recently, reported media. AERA had called the meeting to get views on user fee and other charges to be levied by the airport for the next five years.
AERA will likely levy a nominal fee below Rs 100 per passenger as development fee for using the hall, far lower than the Rs 667 user charged from international passengers and Rs 160 from domestic travellers now. The fee is being considered because the Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to invest in improving facilities at the terminal building to allow departures from the international hall. AERA will decide on the user fee in a couple of weeks. AAI has argued that it should be allowed to collect the user fee or it might resort to charging the airlines a hefty landing and parking charges.
According to Times of India, Airport director G Chandramouli has said that AAI will commission the international arrival hall and start a few departures in six months. AAI will need to set up conveyors and other facilities, thus helping to increase the capacity from the present four million international passengers.
Chennai airport will also add more space in the ground floor of the international terminal, allowing more departures and arrivals. Currently, the airport authority is handicapped by lack of space and personnel to man customs and immigration counters.
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