Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Second airport for Chennai: Four locations suggested

Preliminary work on the location for a second airport for Chennai has begun with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) inspecting four potential sites identified by the Tamil Nadu government for setting up a greenfield facility. 

The new airport will function in addition to the existing facility in Meenambakkam, located close to the city, state government officials said. They added that four places – Tirupporur, Parandur, Pannur, Padalam – have been suggested for Chennai’s second airport to the AAI by the Tamil Nadu government.

Though the number of flights and the daily footfall have increased manifold over the years, the city is bereft of a swanky airport like the ones Bengaluru and Hyderabad boast off. The AAI has been expanding the terminal buildings in the existing airport to cater to the ever-increasing rush but a new airport is long overdue.

The government’s 2006 plan to construct a greenfield airport in Sriperumbudur, an industrial hub just outside Chennai, did not take off due to a slew of factors, including opposition from PMK, which was an ally of the then DMK government. Efforts by the AIADMK government between 2011 and 2021 in this regard also did not fructify.

“We have now begun the work on the second airport. The Tamil Nadu Industrial Corporation (TIDCO) has suggested four locations close to Chennai for the second airport. AAI is inspecting the four sites, which is the preliminary step. Once the inspection is over, the work on identifying the site will begin after discussions,” a government official told DH.

Tirupporur is the closest of the four locations in the city with a distance of 44 km, while Padalam is the farthest located at around 78 km. Pannur is 54 km away from Chennai and the distance between the state capital and Parandur is 69 km.

09/03/22 ETB Sivapriyan/Deccan Herald

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