Ad Here  
Star of the South Technology and economic development should be linked Chennai Airport-Ready for a rapid take off... Kudos to GIM organisers... Ganesh’s mantras The Great Fall Need for radical RBI reform Skewed Economic Zones? Why throw baby with bath water? TN - so much to offer... Weaving wealth of western Tamil Nadu Welcome move to widen the tax net… South India’s 100 most valuable companies Well-administered State Outward ho Much can be done by us Tax evaders’ get out of Jail-Free Card Much ado about nothing A gratifying record Welcome rains for damaged roads... An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi In the horns of a dilemma A dual GST that will protect prosperous states A blueprint for the future If not Tamil Nadu, where else? MS Installed Cleansing Indian retail Welcome Measures. Work for 10X Change What the big B should offer? Wanted: decentralised financial system Breaking news or breaking credibility? Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu When the examiner cheated... Jobs - Lost, Changed or Gained 1800 parties registered with EC – Less than 60 contest elections Strategic planning the missing link Truce at Kasturi Buildings Sardar Sarovar – the seventy year itch BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms Why (not) abolish? An eco-friendly commute in Mysuru Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation A historic indirect tax reform After all, customer is the king A tale of two Bihar babus Indian GST – Between extremes… Economy through the month Little surplus after salaries, subsidies and debt servicing How will it PAN OUT Better relations with UK... Tryst with GST Public investments and welfare will surge Two welcome measures from the chief minister... CAD and the emergency thereof Need plan over the long term planning Deming awardees galore! Rail-road Rajaraman CSR, tech revolution and bank crisis Low profile moves No groundnuts in groundnut oil! PC please be our Santa Sustainably developing manufacturing sector… INDIA keeps its date with destiny Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation Make way for Make in India... Reform this licence to…kill Land, land everywhere, but... Industry can’t get it from Mars, yet A Fine division of responsibilities You too T M Krishna? Policy Makers Pool energy prices The deluge and the several kindly souls Oh my GOLD Sowing seeds of hope It’s raining funds for states. Really? Miles to go... They add lustre to Padma Awards Focus on agriculture and human resources Research for survival... Focus on southern TN... Healthy finances of the Chennai Corporation
Chennai Airport-Ready for a rapid take off...
For over four years the Chennai airport has been going through a massive transformation. There has been a lot of construction activity progressing round the clock. In recent month, one could witness changes almost every week, like a child growing by the day and these amidst 24X7 operations.

Over 1500 days of exacting, round-the-clock work

S Bhaduri, Executive Director (Engineering)

“WITH SEVERE constraints in working at a busy brownfield airport; of acquiring land in time; of shifting facilities in operation; of operating construction equipment at optimum levels- all made exacting demands,” said S Bhaduri, Executive Director(Engineering), Chennai Airport project of AAI.

Bhaduri brings with him rich experience of handling airport construction. He said that each project brings with it, its own challenges and demands. “We thought we would hand over the project site in two to three phases but the domestic terminal alone demanded six phases; international terminal involved seven more phases and elevated corridor another 11 phases. The city side area is narrow and we could hand this to the contractor with a lot of strain. We are aware of the inconvenience caused to the passengers; unfortunately we were helpless,” said Bhaduri. Construction involved positioning a lot of heavy equipment like cranes, dozers, boom lifts, concrete pumps, etc. Taking these near the operational area was difficult and their manoeuvring capacity was much reduced. There were also issues of safety.
THERE ARE SEVERE constraints in expanding an existing busy airport. Also, unlike in most developed countries, international airports in India operate 24x7. There is no option of closure for construction work. The new airports at Bengaluru, Hyderabad and the swanky new Terminal 3 at Delhi, for instance, did not suffer from this handicap.

Problems that persisted

There were other severe constraints like land acquisition: from the Defence Ministry that had a lot of communication installations; from crowded suburbs and villages; and of a National Highway and a rail line on the eastern side right in front of the existing airport . The original plan of the state government to persuade residents in the nearby suburbs to part with their lands even at handsome compensation was not fruitful.

A few decades ago this part of Chennai had a large number of small hills with hard rock. Several of these have vanished to meet the insatiable appetite for building materials, but this has left hard rocky stones underneath which made laying foundation extremely difficult. With active air traffic, blasting was not a solution.

Thus it appears a miracle to have completed the construction of this new air terminal for domestic passengers on the eastern side of the existing facilities and another in the west for the international passengers.

Airports Authority of India (AAI), entrusted with this task can take pride in completing this at a cost of Rs 2015 crore.

Boom in air travel

Chennai Airport had its beginning in the early 1950s when Air India started operating flights from Mumbai. The first passenger terminal was built further North at Meenambakkam. In 1998 a new terminal complex was built at Trisulam, south of the then existing terminal, which had been converted into an air cargo complex. The boom in air traffic witnessed post 2000 pointed to the urgent need to expand. From 3.65 million passengers handled in 1999-2000, it shot up to 13.13 million passengers during 2011-12. With its strong industrial concentration, Chennai has also emerged the second largest airport in terms of handling cargo. Daily aircraft movements exceed 330. Air cargo handled amounted to around 400,000 tonnes with domestic cargo accounting for a fourth of this. The airport has been able to handle large aircraft like the Boeing 747.

The boom in air travel, escpecially west bound and east bound foreign travel, has resulted in a massive expansion of the number of flights. Over a dozen foreign airlines and all major domestic airlines and special cargo carriers utilise the airport.
1 2 3 4
Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236