Parandur Airport: MCCI reps meet CM to submit recommendations
CHENNAI: Lauding the announcement of the state government to set up a second airport at Parandur, the Madras Chamber of Commerce (MCCI) officials led by its president TR Kesavan on Monday met chief minister MK Stalin to submit a few recommendations for the proposed greenfield project.
Highlighting the need to pay attention to connectivity, the chamber sought “elevated airport approach road from Poonammalle or Porur junction.” In a release, it said metro connectivity, access to airport from Kancheepuram NG junction, apart from elevated airport access corridor from Walajah for passengers travelling from southern districts through Tambaram or Kancheepuram highway via Oragadam, was imperative. “Connectivity needs to be ready before the airport is commissioned,” it said, noting that these suggestions were based on learnings from the Hyderabad and Bengaluru experiences.
Also, as far as cargo ingress and egress is concerned, the chamber suggested a railway evacuation line branching off from Kancheepuram and another line from Tiruvallur that needed to be considered for linking the airport with the southern railway network.
As a first-of-its-kind initiative and also to reduce vehicular traffic, thereby going green and also encouraging use of public transport, it pressed for a city-based passenger check-in facility for baggage handover similar to the one at Narita/Tokyo. “Similarly, for arriving passenger, a city centre delivery within 45 minutes of arrival and immigration clearance will be of great help,” the release said, adding that customs clearance could be included at the facility. To make cargo drones a reality and possibility of the emerging autonomous passenger transportation solutions, it sought for an operational area for drones. Also, to increase employment opportunities, among other things, a replication of aero city currently available in Delhi airport would augur well as it would house hotels, restaurants, shopping and conference facilities.
To retain existing traffic and promote tourism, the current Chennai airport needs to be immediately spruced up before the greenfield project becomes operational. Such a move would lend focus on customer centricity with features such as faceless immigration, quick baggage retrieval, adequate connectivity and satellite township for employees.
Indian airports are likely to record a significant rise in the number of air-passengers in the coming years. As per an assessment made by Airports Authority of India (AAI), all India total air passenger traffic is expected to increase from 341 million during 2019- 2020 to around 827 million by the year 2032-33.
With the rise in the number of flyers, the government has been taking multiple steps for corresponding growth in the airport infrastructure in the Country.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation has accorded ‘in-principle’ approval for setting up of 21 Greenfield Airports across the country namely, Mopa in Goa, Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka, Dabra (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh, Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera and Hirasar (Rajkot) in Gujarat, Karaikal in Puducherry, Dagadarthi (Nellore), Bhogapuram and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh, Durgapur in West Bengal, Pakyong in Sikkim, Kannur in Kerala and Hollongi (Itanagar) in Arunachal Pradesh.
As per the ministry, the timeline for construction of airports depends upon various factors such as land acquisition, mandatory clearances, removal of obstacles, financial closure, etc., by the respective airport developers. The responsibility of implementation of airport projects, including funding of the projects rests with the concerned airport developer and the respective state government (in case the state government is the project proponent).
However, the Greenfield Airport Projects are regularly reviewed by the government to sort out the issues coming in the way of implementation of these projects. So far, out of total 21 Greenfield airports where ‘in-principle’ has been accorded, eight Greenfield airports, including Durgapur, Shirdi, Sindhudurg, Pakyong, Kannur, Kalaburagi, Orvakal and Kushinagar have been operationalised.