Work Begins On Rs 25 Billion Expansion At Chennai Airport; L&T Performs Bhumi PujaThe current terminal connecting the Anna International Airport and Kamaraj Domestic Airport in Chennai (TShrinivasan/Wikimedia Commons)

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) yesterday conducted a bhumi puja to commence the work on the Rs 25 billion expansion to the Chennai International Airport in Tamil Nadu’s capital city.

The project involves construction of a new terminal building to double the airport’s capacity, straightening both runways at the Meenambakkam end, and the construction of rapid exit taxiways. Chennai’s secondary runway is currently India’s only runway that passes over a river (the Adyar).

The current terminal, measuring 72,000 sq metre was commissioned in 2012 and can currently handle 17 million passengers per annum, although the airport handled 20.5 million passengers.

The new terminal, spread out over 336,000 sq metre will double this capacity to 34 million and along with the associated upgrades will enable the airport to handle 42 aircraft per hour instead of the current 36, according to a Business Standard report.

The airport’s current remote parking for aircraft is deemed difficult to access and a tunnel has been proposed to ease movement of aircraft. It handled 32 aircraft per hour in 2016 which was increased to 36 in 2017 after the first rapid exit taxiway was commissioned.

The airport is currently connected to the rest of the city through the Chennai Metro, suburban rail and the Grand Southern Trunk Road (GST Road).

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