Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Airport to have tunnel for shuttle train

Chennai: In a few years from now, passengers will take a mini train to travel from one terminal to another through a tunnel in the Chennai airport. While one tunnel will have trains transporting passengers, another will carry their baggage. The length of the twin tunnels will be 1.5 km and it will link the satellite terminal with the new integrated terminal building.

A consultant appointed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has finished the study for constructing the integrated terminal building.

The satellite terminal will be located near the remote parking bays (and between the main and secondary runways). This plan was mooted primarily because there have been delays in passengers receiving their baggage, whenever an aircraft is parked in the remote bays. So, to make use of nearly 40 remote bays available and ensure passengers don’t have to wait long for their baggage, the satellite terminal has been planned and a study taken up.

The new terminal will be linked to the integrated terminal building that is now under construction, as part of phase II modernisation project and likely to be ready in a few years. A passenger who gets off the vehicle, will step into the new integrated building, go through the check-in and security process and reach the tunnel. A two-car train will be waiting to take passengers to the satellite terminal.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said the satellite terminal will have three levels — one for departure, one for arrival and another for boarding. “Before COVID-19 struck, the traffic was growing enormously and we found it difficult with terminals getting saturated to handle that volume of traffic. Now, the number of passengers travelling daily is low. But we have a plan for the future, when the traffic will eventually reach 35,000-36,000 a day and we should be able to handle it with ease,” an official said.

30/09/20 Sunitha Sekar/The Hindu

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