The Tamil Nadu government has chalked out a plan
to complete acquiring the land required for the expansion of six airports in
the State but failed to take up assignment of land for the second airport as
handling of the ever growing air traffic at the existing Meenambakkam airport
is becoming unmanageable.
Despite repeated prodding by the Civil Aviation
Ministry and the Airport Authority of India for the past several years, the
state government has not taken steps to acquire land for the Second airport for
Chennai city beyond saying there is no land available for the airport at
Sriperumpudur. Land acquisition remained a major hurdle for the expansion of
Coimbatore International airport including its runway.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday
reviewed the progress of expansion of various airports in Tamil Nadu and the
land acquisition process involved, with top officials from the Civil Aviation
Ministry and the Airports Authority of India (AAI), according to an official
The additional land requirement for the expansion
of Chennai, Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruchi, Madurai and Thoothukudi airports, and
the progress of ongoing land acquisition were reviewed. The press release
however did not mention the progress of land acquisition work at various
airports, with some of them going on for several decades.
Once the airports are expanded, it will lead to
the handling of more wide-body aircraft at these airports, which will in turn
lead to easier mobility for the public and more employment and business
promotion in these regions,” Palaniswami said.
He wanted flight services started at Salem,
Hosur, Neyveli and Ramanathapuram as well as look at the possibility of the
Vellore airport becoming functional at the earliest.
As part of its bid to develop airports in small
cities in the State, the AAI has undertaken various modernisation and
upgradation works at the Tiruchi airport, such as the construction of a new
domestic terminal building to handle peak-hour passenger traffic and conversion
of the old terminal building into an international cargo terminal.
It has also taken up re-carpeting of the existing
runway/taxiway at the Tuticorin airport. The press release however did not
mention the fate of the second airport at Chennai and the progress of land
acquisition work at Coimbatore airport for more than two decades. Not many
international airlines call on Madurai airport though it is close to Malaysia
and Singapore because of the restrictive policies pursued by the Civil Aviation
Ministry.The Singapore airlines's budget airline wanted to land in Madurai
airport five years ago but denied the right by the then Civil aviation
The airport project at Hosur under Udan is facing
rough weather from Bengaluru airport. The existing airport at Bengalaru has a
problem with Hosur airport in Tamil Nadu since the latter is close to the
electronic city which contributes substantially to the air traffic.