Chennai: Chennai airport’s new terminal, which will combine domestic and international services, is set to be inaugurated on Thursday and is expected to be operational in one month.
The new terminal was to have been opened by September 2012 but had to be delayed thrice. The expansion and upgradation of the airport, run by the state-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI), is pegged at Rs.2,015 crore. It was initially estimated to cost Rs.1,808 crore.
“We expect to recover the investment in 10 years time,” said V.P. Agarwal, chairman, AAI.
With this expansion, the annual handling capacity will rise to 16 million domestic passengers and 7 million international passengers from 6 million and 3 million, respectively.
The combined capacity of 23 million can be increased to as much as 40 million passengers by 2020, after which a second airport will be needed. The union government has already approved a 4,000-acre plot for the second airport at Sriperumbudur. The current utilization of the airport is at about 12.3 million.
The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority is yet to finalize the user development fee, which the chairman said will be lower than many of India’s airports that have been developed privately.