Monday, February 17, 2014

Land acquired for runway given back to residents- Times of India 18-Feb-2014

CHENNAI: The state government has de-notified 852.88 acres of land marked for acquisition to build a parallel runway on the western side of Chennai airport. In 2011, Airports Authority of India had declared that the land was not needed but the government had been dragging its feet since then on releasing the land. The order de-notifying the land, belonging to more than 900 families of Manapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Kolapakkam, Tharapakkam and Kovur, comes after residents moved the Madras high court, frustrated that three years of struggle and protests had not yielded results. The government order was issued a couple of days ago. The land, covering a largely residential neighbourhood, was earmarked for a parallel runway in October 2007 and a government notification issued. The immediate impact was that all development work was stopped. Construction of many houses was halted midway and many residents, while staying in rented accommodation, were forced to make their loan repayments for more than five years. With the land frozen, many residents had nothing to pledge or sell in case of emergencies. Now, all of them are elated. "It's a great relief that we have got our land back finally," said a resident. But the struggle was anything but pleasant. At the peak of the agitation, in early 2013, social activist Medha Patkar addressed a gathering of protesting residents and demanded that the government de-notify the land and hand it over to the resident. There were allegations that real estate firms which were eying the land were delaying the de-notification process. The trouble, residents said, began because of a mistake by AAI which demanded the land for the parallel runway project that had not been cleared by the regulatory authorities. Brindha Brighton, secretary of the United People's Forum for Survival, a movement that represents the affected families, said the parallel runway plan was dropped in 2011 after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) ruled out the possibilities in this area. "Now we are relieved from all troubles. We hope that it doesn't happen again spoiling the livelihood of people," she said.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Parallel runway plan in city aborted

Parallel runway plan in city aborted

CHENNAI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has dropped its plan to build a parallel runway at the Chennai airport. The decision comes after the state government informed AAI that they would rather prefer a new airport at Sriperumbudur.

The parallel runway was proposed in 2006 after studies showed that the existing terminals and runways would be inadequate to handle air traffic and the existing airport will saturate by 2015. But AAI had put the project on hold after the state government in 2009 expressed a keen interest to have an airport at Sriperumbudur.

The project was put on hold after AAI chairman V P Agrawal met the then state chief secretary K S Sripathy. They commissioned a study by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on the feasibility of building a new airport at Sriperumbudur.

The ICAO study, published in 2010, recommended that a parallel runway need not be constructed if a new airport was going to be built at Sriperumbudur. AAI officials handed over the report to the state government soon after Jayalalithaa took over after the elections this year. After the state government expressed its wish to have a second airport, AAI sent a letter saying that they will not require the land marked for acquisition for the parallel runway, said airport director E P Hareendranathan.

The four-runway second airport is proposed to be built on 4,823 acres at Sunguvarchathiram near Sriperumbudur, northwest of Chennai, at an estimated cost of Rs 3,500 crore, according to its initial plans.

Close to 1,000 acres in Kolapakkam, Manapakkam, Tharapakkam and Gerugambakkam area have been marked for acquisition for the parallel runway and the state government served notices to land owners in 2007. However, the government was finding it difficult to acquire land northwest of the Adyar river. It was estimated that the land acquisition would cost Rs 2,000 crore.

Residents of the areas had been protesting the move to acquire land for the runway for more than three years. They wanted the state government to build a second airport and de-notify their land. However, the state government is yet to de-notify the land that was marked for acquisition.

There was a feeling among officials that it would be more logical to have a second airport than spending money to expand the existing airport. The existing airport cannot be expanded further because land around the campus has been developed into residential localities.

AAI needs about 5,000 acres in Sripreumbudur for the construction of the new airport. Now, it remains to be seen if the government can get the work done in a fast-track mode.

Monday, August 8, 2011

TN to take a call on second airport in Chennai

CHENNAI: With the Airports Authority of India submitting a feasibility report for a second airport for Chennai, the state government has to take a decision on the issue as the terminals here receive more passengers and cargo, senior AAI officials said.

A feasibility report on a second airport for Chennai, near Sriperumbudur was submitted to the Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi by AAI's Chairman V P Agarwal on August 6, officials said.

"It was a technical study on the possibility of dual airport operation in Sriperumbudur. The rough area estimation of the second airport is 5,000 acres. Now, the state has to take a call on the issue and allot land accordingly," they said.

Expansion of the domestic terminal is expected to be over by this year end and the international terminal should be over by January next. "Though, the present expansion will help handle more travellers and cargo, it will reach its saturation by 2017 or 2018. So, we need another airport. By 2020, the second airport should be in operation," officials said.

Chennai airport handled 12 million air passengers and 2,95,500 tonnes of cargo in 2010-11 against 10.5 million passengers and 2,49,000 tonnes of cargo in 2009-10.

Sriperumbudur is an industrial town in Kancheepuram district.

Give 5,000 acres for new airport, says AAI

Give 5,000 acres for new airport, says AAI

CHENNAI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has informed the state government that it is ready to construct a second airport for Chennai in Sriperumbudur provided 5,000 acres of land are made available for the purpose. Earlier, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had given its green signal for the new airport project in its feasibility study. AAI chairman V P Agrawal handed over ICAO's report to chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi on Saturday. "We have asked for 5,000 acres of land which will be needed to construct the new airport. In the first phase, runways and other facilities will be constructed. Around Rs 5,000 crore will be needed for the project," Agrawal said.

The civil aviation ministry had earlier announced that the new airport would not be handed over to the private sector. AAI sources said that the government would now decide whether to construct a new airport or to build a parallel runway at the existing airport. As the existing airport is getting saturated, AAI proposed to construct a parallel runway. However, it was soon found out that the cost of land acquistion would be high. So, a new airport was proposed and the DMK government identified land at Sriperumbudur over three years ago for the project and informed the union ministry. AAI conducted a study and found that an airport can be built at the land earmarked for the project by the then state government. Agrawal also assured the state government that the ongoing expansion works at the existing airport would be completed as per the new schedule. The new domestic terminal would be ready by December this year while the international terminal would be commissioned by January 2012, he added.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Greetings to You Madam & We, the people, Congratulate You and Wish You a Great Success !

On behalf of the families at Manapakkam, Gerugampakkam, Kolapakkam and Tharapakkam affected by land acquisition for the proposed Parallel runway plan for Chennai airport expansion , the following appeal is submitted for the kind consideration of The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamilnadu:

· With your vision and dream to develop TamilNadu as No.1 state in the country, during The Hon’ble Chief Minister’s earlier stewardship 2001 thru 2006, it was decided to expand the existing airport at Meenambakkam by acquiring lands at Pozhichalur, Pammal, Anakaputhur and nearby villages

· During the above said period, we invested our life savings and bought CMDA approved lands and houses in Manapakkam, Gerugampakkam, Kolapakkam and Tharapakkam villages which were not at all considered for the expansion purposes.

· While the Airport expansion plan was in progress, the subsequent Government formed by Mr.M.Karunanithi altered above mentioned plan and decided to acquire our lands and houses for Airport expansion, runway construction in spite of clear CMDA approvals.

· On July 9th 2007, TamilNadu Government headed by Mr.M.Karunanithi issued a GO cancelling the above Airport Expansion plan and proposing to acquire 1069.99 Acres of land in the villages of Manapakkam, Gerugampakkam, Kolapakkam and Tharapakkam. CMDA was then directed to immediately freeze all building activities in these villages. This G.O. also indicated that the Government’s plans to acquire 4820.66 acres of land in Sriperumbudur & Thiruvallur taluks for constructing a new Green Field Airport.

· Because of the notices issued to us under Section 3 (2) of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purposes Act 1997, we are affected financially and emotionally for the past FOUR years.

· We are paying EMI on the Home loans availed by us , but no HOME to avail so far. Also, we have invested most of our life’s savings on building these houses. The majority of the residents are retired officers from defense and State and Central Government services, who have purchased the property lured by the peaceful and quiet ambience of the locality. This has been our Dream Home project and many of the investors are shattered on not being able complete the houses.

· Since the houses are not completed because of the acquisition notice, most of us are residing in rental houses, paying rent also.

· We understand that the extension of cross runway already done is sufficient to cater to the traffic expected till 2020.

· We request you to please advise the relevant authorities to de-notify our lands at the earliest so that we may proceed with continuing construction of our houses, which we left half way due to the acquisition notice. This will also put an end to the FOUR years of misery and sufferings endured by all of us.

· De-notification of these lands will also save the 947 houses of about 5000 inhabitants of the area, save the Omega International School which is providing education to more than 2000 students, save several industries and brick-kilns, wet cultivable lands, livelihood of 2000 farmers and needless to say several 1000s of crores of rupees, which can otherwise be utilized for other development schemes in the state.

· Further, it is also learnt that the parallel runway project would cause environmental issues to the Adyar River thereby endangering the ecology of the region; besides, it is also believed to pose many security threats to the air passengers, apart from flooding the runway during rainy seasons affecting the safety and normalcy of the air traffic.

· We, therefore, pray to your good offices to advise the relevant officers to de-notify our lands from the acquisition for the parallel runway project. We will be ever grateful for our lifetime to the Hon’ble Chief Minister for this act of kindness.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

State-AAI meeting to discuss Chennai airport expansion

State-AAI meeting to discuss Chennai airport expansion

CHENNAI: Issues relating to expansion and modernisation of Chennai airport, and the delay in completing the first phase of the modernisation project, will be discussed at a high-level meeting here next Thursday. Top officials of the State government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) headquarters are expected to attend the meeting.

According to AAI sources in New Delhi, with a new government taking over in Tamil Nadu, the issue of airport expansion and modernisation have come to the fore.

The Rs.2,000-crore expansion project, considered important for the State's infrastructure development, has been delayed owing to various reasons. The State government is expected to press the AAI to expedite the project, which includes construction of new domestic and international terminal buildings and expansion of the secondary runway and the international cargo complex.

The AAI will raise with the State government its additional land requirements for the ongoing works and discuss the possibility of acquiring land that has already been identified for constructing a parallel runway near the existing airport, according to the sources.

The meeting will also discuss the proposed second airport at Sriperumbudur, for which the International Civil Aviation Organisation has completed a feasibility study and submitted a report to the AAI. Apart from these issues, the development of airports in Coimbatore and Madurai and according international status for the Coimbatore airport will also be discussed.

Neighbouring Kerala has three international airports – Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode – whereas Tamil Nadu has just only one with the others being Customs-notified airports, the sources point out.

During her previous tenure (2001-06), Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to the then Prime Minister informing him that the State government would allocate 1,457 acres free to develop and modernise the Chennai airport to international standards.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Airport expansion: Presence of VOR overlooked

Airport expansion: Presence of VOR overlooked

CHENNAI: It seems the Airports Authority of India forgot that the linkway they are constructing at the Chennai Airport to join the main and secondary runway will result in displacement of a very high frequency omni range (VOR) equipment, an essential requirement for any airport from the pilot’s perspective to identify his destination.

Sources at the airport said the officials had apparently ignored the presence of VOR in close proximity to the new linkway 1 and the parallel taxiway to main runway that have been constructed.

“Owing to its proximity to the linkway it has to be demolished as the aircraft wings will bump into it. AAI apparently didn’t foresee this during the expansion stage. It seems to be a planning error. Subsequently they also realised that there is no other convenient location except for near the hangars which couldn’t be demolished. Hence they are now having to make two VORs- one for each runway. It is a lot of work because new procedures have to be put in place and well tested before it is commissioned,” an ATC source said.

A VOR is basically a navigational instrument that gives out radials to the pilot for setting his course to come into his destination airport.

“The VOR will be unsteady if it has any obstruction in its path. A VOR, apart from a homing device, is a primary facility for an instrument approach when a pilot practises automated landing instead of manually controlling or visual flying. In the absence of a VOR, IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) landing cannot be done at all. Moreover, in absence of VOR and instrument landing system equipment, visibility requirements will become very poor leading to more diversions. Night operations are also not possible,” retired ATC official and aviation expert Krishnan said.

Regional executive director for southern region Devraj said that the current VOR was a hindrance to the developmental infrastructure of the airport. “It was coming in the way of the parallel taxiway to main runway and is a hindrance. Hence we decided to relocate it. While one VOR for main runway is almost ready, another one for secondary runway will also be installed,” he said.

Installing a VOR is, however, no easy process as new procedures for pilot’s flight path have to be put in place and tested before the DGCA gives the final approval - something that takes months.

“AAI wants us to start using the secondary runway as soon as possible for day operations but with shorter runway and no navigational aids on this we will face huge penalties and safety hazards. Moreover, after the Mumbai incident of Kingfisher flight going off the runway, DGCA approval is required for use of runway shorter than 7,000ft,” an airport source said.

“It is purely ill-planning on AAI side. All the expansion plans are being made in Delhi without the involvement of the local technical experts,” an ATC source said.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Second city airport in TN hands

The civil aviation ministry and state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday held a meeting to discuss the possible construction of a second airport for Chennai at Sriperumbudur.

Ministry sources said it was expected that the present airport could get saturated in a decade and parallel runways are not possible in this airport.

“The AAI will submit all the studies it had done and it’s up to the state government to decide whether it wants a second airport or not,” a ministry source said, adding that since the ‘site clearance’ of the possible venue at Sriperumbudur was yet to be done, the move for a second airport for Chennai “is at very preliminary stage”. The AAI is carrying out modernisation of the existing airport.

AAI regional executive director (South) Mr D Devaraj said a technical study had been undertaken by International Civil Avia-tion Organisation for dual operations (Chennai and Sripeumbudur). “It is under consideration.”

An industry source in Chennai said acquisition of land for the greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur wou-ld be history in Tamil Nadu, as it is expected to attract large amount of litigation. But then, he pointed out that since Sriperumbudur is an industrial hub, it has huge cargo potential apart from regular passenger movement.

“A greenfield airport is a necessity for Chennai as there is acute congestion. We need to push our plans as quickly as possible,” he said, arguing that the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka ha-ve benefited from building new airports at their states.

Manapakkam residents look to new govt to get back land

CHENNAI: Residents of Manapakkam and surrounding areas are pinning their hopes on new chief minister J Jayalalithaa to go ahead with the second airport at Sriperumbudur.

The residents will get back their 900 acres of land marked and frozen for acquisition for three years at Manapakkam, Gerugambakkam, Kovur and Kolapakkam to build a parallel runway for the existing airport if the state government decides to go ahead with the new airport. The parallel runway work may not be taken up if the second airport materialises.

Nearly 1,000 families who have bought land and houses through bank loans are repaying the loan even though they have no clue whether they will come to own the property in the future.

"We are planning to meet officials of the new government after they settle down. AAI will also submit the ICAO report to the government by that time, said Vijay Kumar, vice president of Marvel River View County Owners Welfare Association at Manapakam.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had put the plans to build a parallel runway on hold and announced that they would not prefer to have a new runway at the existing airport if the state government went ahead with the proposed airport at Sriperumbudur.

The government has been dragging its feet on the new airport eventhough a feasibility study by AAI showed that the 4,822 acres of land at Sriperumbudur was suitable for the project.

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has also made a study and given positive feedback about building a new airport. The ICAO study report will be submitted to the new government, said a senior AAI official.

AAI also has been sitting on the parallel runway plan. In response to a right to information (RTI) application filed by J Parthipan, a resident, AAI said it was yet to carry out an economic feasibility study for the parallel runway. The response also says that AAI was reviewing the justification for the parallel runway based on the passenger growth projection.

"We are not able to sell our houses or land. Land prices have dipped. Many of the houses that were being constructed by builders are incomplete because the government froze the land for acquisition. The land should be denotified," said Vijaya Kumar.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year-End-Review of the Ministry of Civil Aviation for the year 2010

New Terminal Buildings have been commissioned at Varanasi, Barapani (Shillong), Madurai, Mysore and Ahmedabad airports.Existing terminal buildings have been upgraded/ modernized at Pune, airport. Runways/ Taxiways have been extended / expanded at Varanasi, Ranchi, Guwahati, Bhopal, Gondia, Ludhiana, Cuddappah and Coimbatore airports. Upto November 2010 progress of work for modernization and development at Chennai and Kolkata Airports has been 66% and 46%.Work on the construction of new Greenfield Airports at Pakyong in Sikkim is in progress.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tamil Nadu committed to Chennai greenfield airport: Stalin

Even as the opposition grows over a greenfield airport near here, the Tamil Nadu government Thursday reiterated its commitment to developing the project.

Delivering the valedictory address at Connect 2010, Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said: 'The government of Tamil Nadu is taking all out efforts to bring in a greenfield airport, aerospace park, financial city, sports city, outer ring road, elevated highway, metro rail to Chennai so as to make it a world class city, a destination of growth and development.'

The 10th edition of Connect 2010 - a information and communication technology (ICT) event - was jointly organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Tamil Nadu and Central government.

Citing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi's efforts in retaining the tax concessions given to IT companies in special economic zones (SEZ) that were sought to be removed under the Direct Tax Code, he urged these software units to speed up their projects.

Citing a study, Stalin said India has emerged as the fastest growing and the fourth largest IT market in Asia Pacific region.

'Recent McKinsey study revealed that it will be many years before China poses a threat to India in IT,' Stalin added.

He said the state has over 1,700 software and IT enabled services units and out of the 29 notified IT special economic zones (SEZ) in Tamil Nadu 19 are already functional generating a direct employment for around 46,000 persons.

Earlier CII's southern region chairman and Infosys Technologies CEO and managing director S. Gopalakrishnan said his company is planning to set up a third centre here.

He said the IT companies have started in a small way outsourcing some of the activities to units located in tier-2 cities.

According to him, 40 percent of the new IT jobs created are in metros and entrepreneurship will be the primary driver for growth of tier-2 cities.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Madras Flying Club to face bulldozers soon

Madras Flying Club to face bulldozers soon

CHENNAI: The Madras Flying Club (MFC) is expected to be demolished, as the Chennai Airport needs the land for expansion of the taxitrack that runs parallel to the main runway.

MFC currently occupies about 1,600 sq m land leased to them by the airport authority. The lease reportedly expired in 1997 and the MFC sought its renewal. However, as part of the airport expansion works that is under way, the taxitrack needs to be corrected and expanded near the portion where the MFC building and its hangar are located. “The taxitrack B has a bend near the MFC end, which comes too close to the runway. To expand and straighten that, almost 50% of the MFC property has to be demolished. Moreover, as flight movements have increased, MFC is not being allowed to do any flying in Chennai. They have been offering flying lessons from Vellore for the last two-three years anyway,” an airport source said.

The demolition is expected to happen once the taxitrack parallel to secondary runway is ready. After this expansion, taxitrack B will connect to the starting of the secondary runway.

The MFC, now in its 81st year of existence, has many firsts to its credit, apart from being one of the oldest landmarks of aviation in India. At one point of time, it was one of the few clubs that trained personnel in Air Force as well. At present, MFC hangars are being used to park the State owned helicopter and aircraft Cessna Citation-V5.

Protest against greenfield airport politically motivated, says CM

Protest against greenfield airport politically motivated, says CM

CHENNAI: Chief minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday charged that agitations announced by the AIADMK and PMK against land acquisition for the proposed greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur was "politically motivated". "Their intention is to prevent the DMK government from taking credit for implementing such mega projects," he charged.

In a rejoinder to the two parties, he said the agitation was totally unwarranted as no particular site had been identified so far. Only soil testing work was going on at present, he noted. Officials had taken soil samples from 64 places spread across 4,200 acres so far. Soil samples were taken from Tirumangalam, Molachur, Sokandi, Mampakkam, Sriperumbudur, Kilai, Sirukilai, Vadamangalam and Padichery in Sriperumbudur taluk and Kottaiyur, Vadalur, Thiruppanthiyur in Tiruvallur taluk. Land acquisition work had not yet started.

His government's intention was not to snatch the houses and agricultural fields of common people, he said. If any land had to be acquired, the government would provide adequate compensation, he said and added that at a recent meeting of official convened by chief secretary K S Sripathi, it was communicated to the Airports Authority of India that only the minimum required land for the airport project should be acquired.

Responding to PMK founder S Ramadoss' suggestion to shift the project to an alternative site, Karunanidhi said Ramadoss was aware that the government had narrowed in on the present site after considering a lot of other options. Any other site would have led to massive dislocation of human habitations, he claimed.

The present airport was bursting at the seams owing to congestion caused by increasing air traffic, Karunanidhi said and noted that the Centre was going ahead with plans to expand existing airports or set up greenfield airports in all major cities. Neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had completed work on new airports. "Here alone, people are keen on spiking the airport project," he lamented and added that a big airport was any growing city's necessity and if such projects were opposed, it would affect the state's economic growth.

It was at a meeting of various legislature party leaders on May 22, 2007 that it was decided to set up a greenfield airport on 4,821 acres in Sriperumbudur and Tiruvallur taluks even as expansion of the present airport in Chennai is underway. D Jayakumar of AIADMK and GK Mani of PMK attended that meeting. It was resolved to ask the Airports Authority of India to take up the work on its own. The state government had not taken this decision unilaterally, he said.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sriperumbudur: Jaya opposes land acquisition

CHENNAI: AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa Friday opposed acquisition of land belonging to people in Sriperumbudur area for a greenfield airport, saying it would threaten their livelihood.

"The government has decided to acquire 6,921 acres for greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur belt. The acquisition process of farm lands in the villages are going at a fast pace," she said, according to a statement issued here.

People living in 20 villages will be losing their houses as well as their farm lands thereby putting their livelihood into question, she said, adding the education of several school children will be affected and religious places will also be demolished.

The AIADMK chief also strongly condemned the police action on farmers going in procession to submit a petition to the district collector against the land acquisition.

Jaya opposes land acquisition for airport at Sriperumbudur

Chennai: AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Friday opposed acquisition of land belonging to people in Sriperumbudur area for a greenfield airport, saying it would threaten their livelihood.
'The government has decided to acquire 6,921 acres for greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur belt. The acquisition process of farm lands in the villages are going at a fast pace,' she said, according to a statement issued here.

People living in 20 villages will be losing their houses as well as their farm lands thereby putting their livelihood into question, she said, adding the education of several school children will be affected and religious places will also be demolished.

The AIADMK chief also strongly condemned the police action on farmers going in procession to submit a petition to the district collector against the land acquisition.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sriperumbudur airport may not take off

Sriperumbudur airport may not take off:

CHENNAI: The much-expected second airport at Sriperumbudur may not take off as both the Centre and the state government are preparing to shelve the project. Even as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has undertaken a techno-economic feasibility study of the project, a senior official in the Union civil aviation ministry said that the government is convinced that there is no urgent need for a second airport in the city, as the existing airport at Meenambakkam is being expanded.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is spending Rs 3,800 crore on the expansion works including construction of a new terminal and laying of a secondary runway, which are expected to be completed by April 2011. Confirming the development, sources in the state government pointed out that many major cities across the world were operating with one airport and the present air traffic in the city could not justify a second airport. As per the condition for setting up the second airport, the state government has to acquire about 5,000 acres of land and hand it over to the AAI free of cost.

"It may entail expenditure between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 crore which the state government may not be ready to shell out," the sources added. The officials also argued that if private operators had to be brought in, the existing airport should be closed down as in the case of Bangalore and Hyderabad. Having spent more than Rs 3,000 crore on the expansion works of the present airport, it would not be a prudent move to close it down, they said.

The existing Chennai airport handles about 350 aircraft movements a day, which will go up to 450 a day once the expansion works are completed. "This should be sufficient to handle the growing demands for up to 2015," said a AAI official. Moreover, it would not be possible to keep two airports operational, given the traffic projections; and the additional expenditure on a mass rapid rail link between the two airports could not be justified, the officials added.

The proximity of the two airports has also gone against the proposed airport at Sriperumbudur. While internationally accepted norms say that there should be a minimum distance of 150 nautical miles between two airports, the two in Chennai are hardly 20 nautical miles apart.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Times of India 07-Feb-2010

AAI chief sore over defence land issue

AAI chief sore over defence land issue

CHENNAI: Even as rest of the Chennai Airport sees a facelift, the issue of the defence land in which a part of the terminal expansion plan is based, remains unsettled for more than six months now.

Airports Authority of India’s chairman V P Agrawal who was in the city on Saturday showed exasperation as he revealed that the issue of defence land takeover remained unresolved. “I just want to tell them t don’t block my project. We’ve created infrastructure for them and still they refuse to budge from their stand. They (defence people) have already demonstrated that they are a stronger force. I accept that they are the big boss but why stop my work (airport expansion project)?

AAI had entered the defence property next to the international terminal in February 2009 for putting up structures there. The defence authorities had earlier agreed to the AAI proposal to construct a new communication building for the defence with signal transmitters in return for the existing structure at Pallavaram. While AAI kept its part of the deal and finished the work by May 2009, defence personnel stopped construction on the site.

“The home minister has spoken to the defence minister and the latter agreed. Even the state chief minister has taken up the matter but nothing has happened so far. I have given them ten times more than what they are giving us for expansion but they want the moon,’’ Agrawal said.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Greenfield airport in chennai, Message in Dinamalar_29_11_2009

Airport expansion, greenfield to be delayed

Airport expansion, greenfield to be delayed

The ongoing expansion of existing airport and the proposed second airport at Sriperumbudur may get delayed if Airports Authority of India (AAI) is not able to eliminate the bottlenecks the projects face.

The existing airport's development will be hit if defence authorities did not vacate the 19-acre land adjacent to the international terminal immediately while tardiness of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in completing a techno-economic feasibity study is delaying the Sriperumbudur airport.

Confirming the fears, AAI chairman VP Agrawal said that AAI may not be able to complete the project on time if the defence land is not held up. "We are planning to take up the issue with the defence secretary," he said. Though the land was formally handed over to AAI in July, defence authorities are refusing to vacate a transmitter building located in it. AAI has also built a RS 3-crore transmitter station at an alternative site.

"The ongoing expansion works (building two new passenger terminals, a flyover in front of the terminals, extending the secondary runway and building a bridge across Adyar river to extend the runway) are progressing at a rapid pace and could be completed next year. But, delay in getting the defence land will impact the expansion works," said Agrawal after inaugurating a 303-metre walkalator that connects domestic and international terminals at Chennai airport on Friday. The walkalator built at a cost of Rs 12 crore helps passengers to access aero bridges of both the terminals.

Agrawal said that the financial condition of AAI would not impact the ongoing airport expansion works at Kolkata and Chennai. "As tax-free bonds are not coming from the government, we may borrow from the market. This comes at a lower interest rate. So, the projects may not be affected. But, we have deferred long-term borrowing" he said.

The proposed second airport project on 4,820.66 acres at Sriperumbudur also may get delayed considerably because International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is going slow on the techno-economic feasibility study. "AAI has paid an advance amount to the organisation to start the study. But, they have not done much. So, we have written to the secretary general of the organisation." Agrawal said.

The study has already been delayed by almost a year because AAI did not pay the advance to ICAO. The organisation was supposed to submit its report in June this year. However, this is going to be delayed further.

AAI could decide the fate of the proposed parallel runway only after getting ICAO report on Sriperumbudur airport, he said.

AAI has put the parallel runway project on hold till the ICAO report is released.

Agrawal said that installation of a new radar would be carried out by the end of March 2010. "The airport will get two radar. One will soon be installed at Porur. Works on the building are going on," he said.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009