The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has started modernisation work on the Kolkata and Chennai airports, K Ramalingam, chairman, AAI, said at a seminar on air route development today.
The development work will include construction of new terminals, additional runways and taxiways in both the airports. The AAI will spend Rs 2000 crore each for upgradation of the airports. The target year for completion of this project is 2010.
"We have drawn up plans to modernise both the airports. Designs of terminal buildings and expansion of existing ones have already been approved," said Ramalingam. He also said that the airport infrastructure at Chennai and Kolkata would be upgraded to make landing of aircraft like the Airbus A-380 possible.
AAI has already appointed consultants for the modernisation project, sources said. The consultant for Kolkata airport modernization is a consortium which Indian firms partnering with Hong Kong's RMJM and a Paris-based firm ADPI, while for Chennai the consultants are Creative Group with Frederic Schwartz and Genslers of the US.
After modernisation, Kolkata airport's passenger handling capacity will rise from 5.4 million passengers annually to 20 million by 2010. This will be sufficient for handling passengers till 2015-16. Work on nine domestic bays, three cargo bays and 11 additional parking bays has already started along with construction of the new terminal building.
In addition, a new ATC control tower is being built and automation being introduced in air traffic management and navigation. The new terminal building will have an area of around 180,000 sq metres. 104 check-in counters, 44 immigration counters, 25 security gates, five conveyor belts and 15 aerobridges will be the other features of the airport post development.
In Chennai, a new terminal building will be constructed and that along with the existing terminal will take passenger capacity from10 million annually to 30 million by 2010. This development work would make the airport adequate passenger handling capacity till 2015-16. The new terminal building will measure more than 140,000 sq mts. In addition to that there will be 140 check-in counters, 60 immigration counters, 7 security gates (3 international, 4 domestic), 4 conveyor belts and 7 aerobridges.
In addition to that, 7 inline baggage systems will be installed in five airports namely Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Srinagar and Calicut. The system makes it unnecessary for the passenger to go for pre-check through x-ray machines. They will directly check in and the baggages screened. This involves an expenditure of Rs 50 crore. The second phase will see these systems installed in 8 other airports viz Amritsar, Guwahati, Varanasi, Trivandrum, Vizag, Trichy, Jaipur and Udaipur.
Speaking at the seminar, Ramalingam said that there would soon be special strictures and guidelines for the airports across the country. Apart from guidelines laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA), there would be other customer service surveys across for all the 42 airports-6 metros and 35 non-metros in the country.
Currently, Airports Council International (ACI), an international airport body is conducting a airport service quality survey at the Delhi airport. The survey is based on 34 criteria like availability of parking facilities, efficiency of staff and finer details like sanitation and cleanliness of toilets.
Speaking about security and efficient air space navigation, Ramalingam said that the satellite based navigation system,GAGAN would be implemented by the beginning of 2010. A large part of the infrastructure is already in place and feasibility trials are being conducted. He also said that more radars were being procured for better air traffic control and within two years the entire airspace would have radar coverage with an efficient network between all the radars. He also said that efforts were being made to provide night landing facilities to airports across the country.