Tamil Nadu yet to lay a brick for 2nd airport

Tamil Nadu yet to lay a brick for 2nd airport
Tamil Nadu yet to lay a brick for 2nd airport

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government is yet to take any steps to build the second airport at Sriperumbudur even though Airports Authority of India (AAI) has submitted a pre-feasibility report almost four years ago.

Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha has said the ministry has not received any proposal from the state government for the construction of the airport in Sriperumbudur, 40km from Chennai.

AAI handed over the report prepared by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to the state government four years ago saying the facility can be constructed.

The authority hinted that they were ready to build the airport if the state government gave them the green signal and acquired land.

Sinha told Parliament last week that it was on the request of the Tamil Nadu government AAI carried out the study . "However, the ministry has not received any proposal either from the state government or a private developer for construction of an airport near Sriperumbudur," the minister said to a query .

The ICAO report said the new airport can be built even though a facility is functioning at Meenambakkam. It was first supposed to be a greenfield airport but later the ministry changed the nomenclature to `second airport' because they wanted two airports for Chennai.

As per greenfield airport policy, either the state or an airport company needs to submit the proposal to the ministry for construction of an airport in a region.

The state government's Vision 2023 document of 2012 said the `20,000 crore greenfield airport project will be implemented by transport department on a public-private-partnership mode.

A comprehensive integrated master plan for Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor prepared by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said Chennai airport, which can now handle around 23 million passengers annually, is expected to fall short of the rising demand by 2020-21, triggering the need for an additional airport in the region.

Airport director Deepak Shastri said, "A decision on the new airport at Sriperumbudur before the existing one gets saturated is the need of the hour as land acquisition will take a long time and it will take another four years for construction." "Expansion of runways is nearly impossible. We are going for phase II expansion to increase capacity of terminals from 14 million passengers.This will be enough for the next 10years, but an alternative is needed."

Tamil Nadu yet to lay a brick for 2nd airport