Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why Chennai airport can't handle jumbo planes

Chennai: Airports Authority of India (AAI) is expanding Chennai airport's passenger handling capacity by building a new integrated terminal and taxiways spending around 2,000crore, but the airport would still not be able to handle jumbo passenger planes like the B747-8 Air China plane in which Chinese President Xi Jinping and his delegation flew down.
The Chinese premier's flight was given special arrangements and not many people were on board; but a passenger plane of such size cannot operated from the city airport. Planes like B747-8 and A380 with capacity of more than 400passengers cannot be brought to the terminals because the airport does not have suitable aerobridges or parking bays. Neither will the terminal being built have aerobridges that can be used to dock large planes. And passengers cannot be disembarked in remote parking bays because moving so many people by shuttle buses will be impossible.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) had tweeted that the airport handled two 'code F' planes for the first time. Giant freighters of the same size have landed at the airport earlier. Passengers from the two Air China planes, who were part of VVIP delegation, could disembark because they need not enter the terminals. And, AAI converted two parking bays into one to park such planes.

British Airways used to fly a giant freighter to Chennai two years ago. The authorities used to block a taxiway close to the runway till the plane taxied to its parking bay. The wings of the plane was so wide that the tips used to infringe onto the taxiway parallel to the runway. Other planes were not allowed on taxiway when the plane was on the runway.
15/10/19 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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