Clearing the proposal to let Airports Authority of India (AAI) modernise and upgrade the existing Chennai airport, the Prime Minister's Committee on Infrastructure (CoI) also accorded an "in principle" approval to the setting up of a greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur.
With AAI likely to construct the new greenfield airport, the Tamil Nadu government's wish to get both the projects executed through AAI has been fulfilled.
"The first phase of development at the existing Chennai airport would be over by 2010 and will cost around Rs 2,350 crore. The additional land required for modernisation would be provided by the Tamil Nadu government," said civil aviation minister Praful Patel.
For the greenfield airport, Patel said 4,821 acres of land had already been identified by the state government and the AAI would now conduct a techno-feasibility study for it.
While the construction of runway, taxiway and apron would cost around Rs 1,100 crore, the cost of constructing the terminal building, cargo building, car park and face uplift would be around Rs 1,250 crore.
In 2006-07, the existing airport handled 97,680 aircraft movement and its capacity to handle aircraft movement is likely to saturate by 2014-15. The airport's international terminal handled 2.8 million passengers against a capacity of 3 million per year in 2006-07. Similarly, it handled 5.9 million passengers against an annual capacity of 6 million passengers in 2006-07. Both these terminals are likely to be saturated by 2007-08.
Spread over an area of 1,152 acres, the existing Chennai airport has two runways (3,658 metres and 2,032 metres) and handles 25 aircraft movements per hour. While the existing domestic terminal handles 4.73 million passengers per annum, constructing an additional domestic terminal would add a capacity of five million passengers per annum.
Works amounting to Rs 221.89 crore, relating to terminal buildings, parking bays, cargo building and operations block, are currently underway at the existing airport. Once developed, these facilities would cater to a traffic demand up to the year 2010. AAI plans to construct a new domestic terminal, expand the international one, construct Phase III of the integrated cargo building and new parking bays at a cost of Rs 705 crore.