CHENNAI: Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to acquire about 300 acres in chunks to increase the passenger handling capacity of Chennai airport after commissioning the new integrated terminal in December/January.
The decision was made after AAI Chairman Sanjeev Kumar and the board evaluated the new terminal’s construction and talked about the need for more airport land so that more facilities such as parking lots and parallel taxiways could be built to boost passenger capacity to 55 million per year.
After the ongoing work including the construction of the new terminal is completed, the passenger handling capacity will be raised from the current 20 million passengers per year to 35 million per year.
While negotiations with state government representatives to obtain land parcels for further work are on, the deadline for establishing the new port was set for December or January.
“The second airport is being planned. But the existing airport will need to add more facilities so that it can handle passenger traffic till the new airport is ready. The airport will need land to build a parallel taxiway for a second runway on the northern side closer to the Officers Training Academy.
There is also a need to shift the cargo terminal so that the space can be used to create parking spaces for planes. The entire space near the terminals can then be allocated only for passenger flights,” said a senior official of AAI.
He said that 300 acres were suggested as a requirement for the airport. “It can be changed based on inputs from the state government.