Replying to a query raised by DMK MP P Wilson in the Rajya Sabha on modernization and expansion of airports in Tamil Nadu, Union Civil Aviation Minister VK Singh told the Parliament that the government of Tamil Nadu has identified four potential sites for the development of a second airport in Chennai.
Singh also said the State government has requested the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to inspect the sites and prepare a feasibility study report.
Sources at the AAI said that, while Cheyyur and Mamandur were earlier proposed, the State has identified two other sites in Kancheepuram, including the one in Sriperumbudur taluk. “However, we are facing resistance from farmers, and acquisition issues are delaying the project,” an AAI official told DT Next.
On upgrading the airport to international standards, the Minister said AAI has undertaken the work, including the construction of a new integrated terminal at Rs 2467 crore, for which the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given its approval in 2018.
The Minister also said the AAI has undertaken expansion/upgrade works at the airports in Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchy, Thoothukudi, and Chennai in the State.
To a query on whether the center has any proposal to make Madurai an international airport, Singh said it is a customs airport and all the designated Indian carriers are free to mount operations to foreign destinations.