Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Flyer count up, but there’s little space & a lot of chaos at Chennai airport

Chennai: Since the number of passengers is continuing to grow, Chennai airport has started to become chaotic with passengers, cabs, construction trucks, workers jostling for space in front of the terminals. The congestion on the city side is high between 4pm and early morning. Construction work of an integrated terminal building and two multi-level car parking has taken up a lot of space.

Though there are fewer international flights and domestic flights when compared to the pre-Covid days, the airport is not able to streamline vehicle traffic and passenger flow because of the construction work taking up space in front of the terminals on the ground floor. As traffic management is poor, passengers who alight at the airport metro station, if they chose not to take the walkalator tube, have to walk past speeding cars, earthmovers and workers carrying construction material to reach the terminals.

Around 25,000 passengers use the domestic terminal and 5,000 passengers use the international terminal per day, almost 80% of the numbers are during peak hours and higher on weekends.

On Saturday, there were long queues as passengers waited to enter the international terminals around 10pm. There was hardly any social distancing. “There were a lot of people waiting to enter the international terminal. Airports Authority of India (AAI) staff stop cabs from parking on the departure level. They came thrice to prevent vehicle congestion on the flyover in front of the terminals, but cabs continued to slow down on the stretch,” said R Shankar.

B Arun, a passenger, said it took him around 15 minutes to figure out what to do or where to go for info on the travel protocols at the international terminal.

Passengers who exit the arrival terminal face a hassle to walk to the parking lot as work to construct an integrated terminal building is on. The road in front of the terminals too is being re-laid and is cordoned off. “There is little space to walk to the terminal. I have to keep looking out for speeding cars as I walk across from the metro station in the morning,” said N Rajesh, a passenger.

12/10/21 Times of India

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